A poor hat-check girl loses her job and is forced to get a job as a dancer at a roadhouse. There she falls in love with the son of a rich businessman. The boy's father, believing her to be ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Harry L. Rattenberry
When her boyfriend, Jimmy, forgets a date, Tessie McGuire, a department store clerk, attends a party at the studio of Robert Brandt where she makes a hit with impersonations. There Riccardi... See full synopsis »
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
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)
The silent era continues to have surprises for us, such as this one, "Beyond the Rocks," a film starring Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino once thought lost but since rediscovered and restored. Based on a novel by Elinor Glyn, it's a potboiler that doesn't hold up well today, but so little does at age 84. It's the story of a young woman, Theodora, the hope of her family (i.e., the one with the youth and looks to nab a rich husband) who meets a British nobleman (Valentino) when he saves her from drowning. Then she meets her betrothed, a short, old thing. She's disappointed, but for the sake of her father, marries him. She runs into Valentino on her honeymoon and this time, he saves her from falling off a mountain during a climbing expedition. They seem Meant to Be. But both are determined to honor her marriage vows.
Valentino and Swanson are heavily made up, and both actually looked much better with a more natural appearance. In the beginning, with her hair down and less Max Factor, Swanson is lovely - petite, with amazing eyes and beautiful skin. Later on, however, she looks older than she is due to the make-up and hair-do. Her character has a great wardrobe, and Swanson wears it well. Both actors give good performances. Valentino had a tendency to be obvious in some of his emotions - it was more the style then - but he gives a more relaxed performance in "Beyond the Rocks." Most of the movie looks beautiful with its sepia tones though there are some damaged sections. It's quite a find and a chance to see two big stars of the silent era together. Swanson wrote of parts of the film that don't seem to exist any longer - but as one of the comments here suggests, she perhaps was mixing this up with another film. Given the plot, it would be easy to do so.
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