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It is 1830 in Paris and the rent is due, but the money is not there. An article here, a painting there and a monkey with a cup gives them enough money for the rent, but not for food. Fortunately, Musette from downstairs has enough food for everyone including Mimi - the poor little waif from next door who Rodolphe has met. But Count Paul also has his lusting eye on Mimi and uses her embroidery to get close to her. Rodolphe and Mimi fall in love and Mimi works endlessly to support Rodolphe who is writing his play with a new found passion. He does not know that he has been discharged from writing for 'Dog and Cat Fanciers'. Mimi wants to get his play produced and Count Paul offers to help, but there is a terrible fight when Rodolphe thinks that Mimi is faithless to him with Count Paul. After the fight, he seeks out a doctor as she is sick, but she has left when Rodolphe returns and will stay away until his play is finished.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Star Lillian Gish and costume designer Erté had run-ins over the design of her costumes. She refused to wear a corset he designed and insisted on silk rather than cotton. The designer's refusal to work within Gish's demands are considered to be one reason why his career as a designer in Hollywood did not last long. See more »
La Boheme, based on the original story rather than Puccini's operatic masterpiece, was such a beautiful film. The costumes are truly sumptuous, especially Musette's, the sets are picturesque and don't look at all creaky and the cinematography also has several beautiful images.
The music is lovely, and the story is a genuine tearjerker, especially the end, even when you know what is going to happen you can't help tearing up. The ending is not the only effective scene, the romp in the woods is stunningly romantic.
King Vidor's direction is also superb. When it comes to the performances, while the support cast are great especially Renee Adoree's Musette and John Gilbert is a dashing, sympathetic yet somewhat jealous Rodolphe, it is Lillian Gish's sorrowful and heart-breakingly touching Mimi that is La Boheme's main merit.
Overall, a truly beautiful film and never fails to make me cry. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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