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quiet_curiosity ([personal profile] quiet_curiosity) wrote2011-09-30 02:17 pm

The Conquering Power (1921)

Summary: A tale of two families - one who wasted away their money and another who held on to it with an iron grip. Lives are shaken when the suddenly poor cousin moves in their home from the city. An unlikely romance blooms between the two young cousins as the father uses the young man's situation to his own benefit.

Starring: Alice Terry, Rudolph Valentino, Ralph Lewis, Edna Demaurey,
Directed by: Rex Ingram

Viewed Via: TCM/DVR (soon to be a tag of the past)
Current Commercial Availability: Unavailable

1) This was Valentino's last film with Metro and with Ingram. He would soon settle at Paramount, make The Sheik, and...well...you know the rest. How does he fare here? Pretty well. I really like him in the beginning. He plays such a great pampered rich boy. He projects such an easy carelessness/thoughtlessness. At the same time he's about as fine as the man who's lost everything and has to start over. It's not a showy role.

2) Terry is really fabulous as Eugenie, Charles' kissing cousin. Yes, the angelic young woman was Terry's type-cast role, but she's just so damn good at it! It's not any sense of innocence that pulls you in; it's her seemingly boundless amounts of compassion. She feels and so will you.

3) Ralph Lewis is quite good as the miserly Pere Grandet. At times, he was able to make appear as if the character had other interests and desires beyond money, but he's also able to turn settling his late brother's estate into a moneymaking venture.

4) In the final act, Grandet faces his demons (gold and the people he walked over to get it) in a real surrealistic wonder. Like with the literal Four Horsemen in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse , a lot of the elements (ex: the demonic personification of gold) could have come off very poorly in the hands of a lesser director.

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