Archive for September 16, 2018

The Sunday Intertitle: The Girl with the Crepe-de-Chine Soul

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on September 16, 2018 by dcairns

Yes, that must be it.

Burrowing into Borzage for a forthcoming project. BACK PAY is a Fannie Hurst story adapted by the great Frances Marion, and it makes very conducive material for Borzage — there’s sentiment, romance, spirituality and americana. A girl from a mall town become a kept woman in the big city, but a visit home challenges her decadent new values. But redemption isn’t that quick, and WWI intrudes, as it will later in SEVENTH HEAVEN, with comparable results (Borzage never worried about repeating his most successful moments).

Only the title is terrible — it turns out to be a reference to the wages of sin, but it manages to sound a lot less exciting. Might as well call it TAX DEDUCTIBLE or MINIMUM WAGE or NAUGHT PER CENT INTEREST. Borzage titles tend to be either magnificent, like HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT, or supremely unhelpful like BAD GIRL.

Fantastic cinematography from a Borzage favourite, Chester M. Lyons. And some fine examples of the Floating Head of Death trope.

 

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