Clarence Brown’s 1925 hit THE GOOSE WOMAN was revived to great acclaim at the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema on Sunday, and forms the basis for this week’s edition of The Forgotten. I tell you, people were bowled over by it!
I really want to see this one. Clarence Brown got his start as an assistant director to Maurice Tourneur (and is credited with completing The Last of the Mohicans after Tourneur was injured), and his films exhibit some of the same pictorial felicity. He seems to have been an influence on Sternberg as well, and I note that not only did Sternberg use Gustav von Seyffertitz to good effect in a number of films but also Louise Dresser in The Scarlet Empress. Brown also gives us a traveling shot over a feast in The Eagle (also with Louise Dresser) that seems to have given Sternberg ideas for The Scarlet Empress as well. Brown’s Flesh and the Devil is one of the great delirious delights of the silent era, and Kiki is also a lot of fun.
Thanks, A.H.! I’m still discovering the breadth of Brown’s work.
Goose Woman has one particular lamplit night scene that definitely recalls Tourneur’s approach to atmospheric source lighting.
I recommend everybody check out Goose Woman online if they can’t find another source. It’s a treat.
I’ve heard so much about this film (and never seen it) but one thing I didn’t know. It’s based on a story by Rex Beach, who wrote the Alaska gold rush potboiler THE SPOILERS – itself the subject of numerous films! Shadowplay is (pun fully intended) a mine of information.
Beach (hilarious name) was very popular with filmmakers, it seems.