28 April 2001 | David-240
Truly brilliant film is full of surprises.
This is an extraordinary film, that tricks you constantly. It seems to be heading toward cliche at several points, and then something astonishing will happen that genuinely startles. It would give away too much to say much more, but stick with this film and you will be richly rewarded. William Haines is absolutely delightful - he is certainly a star that deserves to be re-discovered. The gay subtext in his relationship with Jack Pickford is amazing - there is even a scene where Haines rubs Pickford's chest (Pickford has a cold). Both actors play this sub-text subtlely and with great depth of emotion, so that there are moments that are very moving. And I never thought I could get so involved in a football match as I did in this movie - and I don't even understand the rules! Also excellent is Francis X. Bushman's son Ralph as Haines' rival for the girl (yes, it's not completely a gay movie). Wonderful silent classic - a great example of Twenties commercial cinema with an edge.