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quiet_curiosity ([personal profile] quiet_curiosity) wrote2012-02-26 06:59 pm
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The Merry Widow (1925)

Summary:Dancer Sally O'Hara turns the head of Prince Danillo and the two become engaged. But the law says that the Prince cannot marry a commoner and he leaves her at the figurative alter. Sally turns to a wealthy old Baron. She marries him and collects a sizable fortune after his quick death. Sally is now "someone" and must deal with the renew affections of Danillo and his cousin Mirko.

Stars: Mae Murray, John Gilbert, Roy D'Arcy, Josephine Crowell, Tully Marshall, George Fawcett
Directed by: Erich von Stroheim

Viewed via: TCM/DRV (a long time ago)
Current Commercial Availability: Warner Archive DVR Program

1) I don't know much about the original operetta or any of the other film adaptations, but those in the know say that this is much, much different. It's more of dark comedy, vaguely gothic, foot fetish lingering upon kind of adaptation.

2) Lets get this out of the way: Roy D'Arcy is a such a glorious villain/pervert in this that he nearly steals the movie. There's nothing subtle going on here: he's all devious looks and salacious grins but he works them all so well. You're not going to choose Mirko over Danillo, but you can't take your eyes off of him. It's the role that started his career and it's the best of his three antagonist roles vs. John Gilbert.

3) I don't know what to think about Mae Murray. She's not bad by any means. At times, she shows a certain amount of spunk and vigor and you find yourself liking her. At other times, she's mannered but not on the stereotypical "silent" way. It's like she has a certain bag of tricks that she keeps returning to. She did not have an easy time with this movie.

4) Gilbert is fun. He gets to be charming and romantic but also intense and then pathetic. He's clearly a man whose charm and connections got him where he is and he can't quite deal with the world finally telling him no.

5) This is a great looking film. From cinematography to costumes to set design: this is a movie that screamed prestige from every pore.

6) The ending? On one hand, it's fine. Things have been righted. But on the other: it just kind of ends. It feels like there there should be more.

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