Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Lost Reel

A Movie Review

One of the most significant film finds of recent years, has been the discovery of a roughly 99% useable copy of the 1922 silent film Beyound The Rocks. Discoverd by the Neatherlands Film Museum among the property of a late and eccentric collecter named Mr. Joop, the film was directed by Sam Wood and boasts the only on screen teaming of two of the biggest movie stars of the 1920's, Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino. Now released on DVD, with an introduction from the venerable Martin Scorsese (who may have been reading from a tele-prompter), the long lost film is now available to the masses (who probably don't care much). The films story itself concerns a love triangle between Valentino, Swanson, and the latters much older husband, played by Robert Bolder. A standard melodrama for the period that takes on new life given the fate of its stars, and composer Henny Vrientens energizing score. The DVD also contains documentaries on the recovery and restoration of the film, as well as some truly enjoyable audio recordings Swanson made in preperation for writing her autobiography. Also included is another Valentino film The Delicious Little Devil, in the which the latin lover plays second fiddle to now forgotten silent star Mae Murray, I found this movie to be more enjoyable then the the DVD's title attraction.


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