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If there was one thing that Don Juan de Marana learned from his father Don Jose, it was that women gave you three things - life, disillusionment and death. In his father's case it was his wife, Donna Isobel, and Donna Elvira who supplied the latter. Don Juan settled in Rome after attending the University of Pisa. Rome was run by the tyrannical Borgia family consisting of Caesar, Lucrezia and the Count Donati. Juan has his way with and was pursued by many women, but it is the one that he could not have that haunts him. It will be for her that he suffers the wrath of Borgia for ignoring Lucrezia and then killing Count Donati in a duel. For Adriana, they will both be condemned to death in the prison on the river Tigre.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This story is set during the reign of HH Alexander VI (1492-1503); however, it features very prominently the present day Basilica of Saint Peter, whose building started during the reign of HH Julius II (1503-1513), and which was not finished until the 17th century. See more »
John Barrymore stars as "Don Juan", who (as young lad, Philippe De Lacy) is taught by his father (Mr. Barrymore, also as Dad Jose) how to handle women - Love 'Em and Leave 'Em! Learning his lesson well, Barrymore spends much of his time with various women. Willard Louis (as Juan's pal Pedrillo) is especially useful in fending off husbands and other strangers, and doesn't seem too interested in competing with Barrymore for female attention! All goes well until Barrymore is smitten with Mary Astor (as Adriana della Varnese); something about Ms. Astor makes Don Juan want to change his lifestyle, and stick with one woman. But, the reigning Borgias stand in his way - and, Estelle Taylor (as Lucrezia) wants Barrymore, while Montagu Love (as Donati) claims Astor...
Notable for Barrymore's turn as Juan, but better for its soundtrack - the original synchronized sound effects and score are as originally utilized in 1926; and, it works much better than musical soundtracks composed a century later. Barrymore's best scene involves his impersonating a dungeon torturer, nearer the end of the film. Some parts of the story are difficult to understand; for example: What happens to Pedrillo? Why does Juan accuse a certain husband of killing his wife? Perhaps to put him in a later escape scene? which is also difficult to comprehend. Some of the actors read their lines so well, title cards are not needed; however, the acting is not always great. Still, there is enough of everything in "Don Juan" to make it a classic.
******** Don Juan (8/6/26) Alan Crosland ~ John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Montagu Love
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