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Beyond the Rocks (1922)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 7 May 1922 (USA)
A young woman marries an older millionaire and then falls in love with a handsome nobleman on her honeymoon.


Sam Wood


Elinor Glyn (based on the novel by), Jack Cunningham (scenario)

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Cast overview:
Gloria Swanson ... Theodora Fitzgerald
Rudolph Valentino ... Lord Hector Bracondale
Edythe Chapman ... Lady Bracondale
Alec B. Francis ... Captain Fitzgerald
Robert Bolder ... Josiah Brown
Gertrude Astor ... Morella Winmarleigh
June Elvidge ... Lady Anna Anningford
Mabel Van Buren ... Jane McBride
Helen Dunbar ... Lady Ada Fitzgerald
Raymond Blathwayt Raymond Blathwayt ... Sir Patrick Fitzgerald
Frank Butler Frank Butler ... Lord Wensleydon (as F. R. Butler)


Love, duty, and the scent of narcissus. Theodora, a young and penniless aristocrat, marries a much older man, self-made millionaire grocer Josiah Brown, so that her father and spinster sisters can live comfortably. Soon after the wedding, she finds herself falling in love with Hector, the Tenth Earl of Bracondale, a playboy she encounters on the social circuit of the very rich -- in the Swiss Alps, Paris, London, and the English countryside. Hector is attracted to her as well. Theodora must choose between love and duty, and then Josiah and Hector must make choices of their own. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrilling rescues of the heroine-first when she over turns in a boat in the ocean and later when she hangs by a half broken rope over a precipitous cliff in the icy Alps. (Print Ad- Elmira Star-Gazette ((Elmira, N.Y.)) 10 May 1922)


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 May 1922 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Du sollst nicht begehren deines Nächsten Weib See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(2005 alternate) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Black and White (Sepia)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In all the publicity materials for this film, Valentino's Christian name is always spelt "Rodolph". See more »


When Husein Ben Ali and his men are being chased away by the soldiers, a crew member steps in front of the camera during the wide shot of the scene. See more »


Theodora Fitzgerald: [to Lord Bracondale, after he has saved her life a second time] Fate seems to send you to me when I most need you, Lord Bracondale.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2005, The Nederlands Filmmuseum copyrighted a restored version of this film with new intertitles (based on the original continuity script) and a new musical score by Henny Vrienten. It ran 80 minutes. which included about 2 minutes of explanatory remarks and restoration credits, was distributed by Milestone and broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies channel in 2006. The IMDb credits are taken from this version, but they probably differ from the original credits. In 1922, Valentino's screen given name was Rodolph and spelled that way in reviews. Cast lists were not common; credited actors were in the intertitles right before they appeared onscreen. If that were the case for this movie, Helen Dunbar, 'Raymond Brathwayt' and Frank Butler would be marked uncredited, since their names and their character names do not appear in the intertitles. See more »


Referenced in Return to Babylon (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Great movie - the Nederlands Filmmuseum deserves our gratitude
21 June 2005 | by DutchSSee all my reviews

I have to start by saying that I am probably the worst possible person to write a comment on "Beyond the Rocks", as it is the only silent movie I've seen to date. However, since not many people have yet had a chance to see this movie, I thought it my duty as a movie enthusiast to review.

In "Beyond the Rocks" a poor young woman, Theodora Fitzgerald (Gloria Swanson), briefly meets the handsome Lord Hector Bracondale (Rudolph Valentino). They like each other, but soon part ways. Some time later Theodora marries a rich man, even though she has no feelings for him whatsoever, in order to make her father and sisters happy. On her honeymoon she runs into Hector again, and they continue to meet each other socially. Soon they realise that they love each other, but Theodora is now married, which makes it impossible for them to be together.

I found the beginning of "Beyond the Rocks" a bit slow and uneventful. Things do happen, but somehow I couldn't really get 'into' the story. The reason for this is, most likely, that the love between the two main characters at that point hasn't fully developed yet, nor have their problems, and there is little to get emotionally involved with the characters about. But this 'slow' part doesn't last long, and the rest of the movie is as interesting as such a love story can possibly be.

"Beyond the Rocks" is famous for co-starring two silent movie greats, Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino. I was a bit disappointed with Valentino at first. During much of the first half of the movie, he has little to do but smile and look good, neither of which requires much acting talent. Fortunately he has more emotions to convey later, and then finally gets the chance to show what he's capable of. But Swanson remains the star of this movie. Whenever she is on the screen, whatever she is doing, she's the one you're looking at. Even when Valentino acts at his best, he is very much in his own world inside the movie, while Swanson transcends the bounds, radiating off the screen and drawing you into the story.

Not long ago, only one minute of this movie was known to have survived. Then, a few years ago, a copy of the whole film was found in The Netherlands, where it was restored by the Nederlands Filmmuseum. The quality is, as far as I can judge, usually very good. There are only two moments in the film where there is a lot of damage, and it briefly becomes extremely difficult to see what's happening on the screen. The first of these moments is very short, and the shot rather uninteresting, so that it is no great loss to not be able to see it. The other is longer and happens in the middle of a considerably more important and interesting scene. It is a shame that this part of the movie didn't survive in a better condition, but one can't expect miracles, and an advancement from one minute of film to all 80 minutes whereof perhaps one minute damaged is doubtless a great one.

Dutch movie composer Henny Vrienten has made a soundtrack for "Beyond the Rocks". Unique of this soundtrack is that it not only contains music, but also sounds from the surroundings of the characters: cars driving up, footsteps on the stairs, knocks on the door, etc. The general opinion on this seems to be that it makes it easier for people to follow what's happening. I personally can see the other view - that silent movies weren't meant to have sound effects - as well, but the sound as it is didn't bother me. There is one thing, however, that I think should have been left out, and that is the sound of people talking in the background, which is sometimes used. If the actors don't talk audibly, I really don't think it's appropriate to have talking (and sometimes laughing) heard in the background, even if it only occurs in 'party' scenes, where it would be a normal sound to expect. The music is often good and fitting enough (though sometimes rather early-21st-century), except in one scene where the music played in a fancy hotel/restaurant is of the kind you would expect to hear in a saloon in a bad western. This soundtrack is not my favorite part of the film as I saw it, but it certainly isn't so bad that it ruins one's viewing experience, and naturally the movie can't be blamed for it.

All in all, this is a great movie. I hope that it will soon get distributed around the world to give everyone the opportunity to see it.

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