Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »
After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Prepared to find this silent feature mawkish and slow, I got a pleasant surprise. This story of a boy's coming-of-age in rural America before the age of the automobile is somewhat sentimental and melodramatic, but never gratingly so. (And I can't sit through the 1934 "Little Women.") Richard Barthelmess is simply superb as the hero, capturing the changing moods, the giddy grandeur, silliness, and seriousness of the adolescent male. It's superb silent acting: his face goes from boyish to mature as the scenes demand. Also excellent is Ernest Torrence as the chief villain, who plays his outlaw not as just mean or greedy but genuinely creepy: he revels in the suffering of other creatures. Thus the movie suggests interesting things about the nature of criminality. It looks great, too: shot on location, beautifully composed, and with effective use of tinted film stock.
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