Camille (1921)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance

Camille (1921) Poster

A courtesan and an idealistic young man fall in love, only for her to give up the relationship at his status-conscious father's request.


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13 July 2005 | pocca
| Interesting version of Camille
Nazimova truly is a creature like none other. Though born in the 1870's she is not of the nineteenth century nor of the roaring twenties. With her choppy afro and willowy—even anorexic—body, if she suggests any period at all, it is maybe the Andy Warhol disco seventies. But she's definitely watchable in this movie, even touching—she has a rather cherubic face under her bizarre hairstyle which makes her believable as Camille, the dying courtesan whose last chance at happiness is destroyed when the father of her lover Armand Duval demands that she give him up. Armand, played by Rudolph Valentino, allegedly had much of his role reduced by Nazimova who could recognize a fellow scene stealer when she saw one (he is replaced by a book in the deathbed scene!), but he manages to make his impassioned, surly presence felt. Falling as quickly into resentment as he earlier did into love when he believes Nazimova has tired of him, he comes across as both sympathetic and shallow (and quite funny in the casino scenes when he tries a bit too hard to make Camille jealous by flirting with an unworthy tootsie who resembles Mae West). The art deco set design that still looks contemporary almost constitutes a character in itself.

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