Archive for March 27, 2016

The Easter Sunday Intertitle: Stupidly Rich

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , on March 27, 2016 by dcairns

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From SOUL-FIRE, directed by John S. Robertson, perhaps the only silent film-maker to have a song written about him by the Byrds.

It’s now my ambition to become “stupidly rich.” I used to want to be “lousy with money” like the Weenie King in THE PALM BEACH STORY, but stupid has supplanted lousy in my innermost yearnings.

A little like the goofy HOUSE OF DARKNESS, this movie has a musical inspiration. Hero John Barthelmess has written a symphony inspired by his adventures around the world. As it is played for the first time, the scenes which inspired it are presented to us in flashback, movement by movement. Yes, the film is utter tosh. But it is eventful tosh. Alcoholism! Leprosy! Sarongs! It also has a graininess — I suspect the surviving print is 16mm — which is not unpleasing — much of the Hollywood gloss is soaked up, and a charcoal patina replaces it.

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Bessie Love pauses in her Island Love Dance.