10 July 2017 | ksf-2
J Gilbert in his prime, a silent with Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore was already 49 in this silent from 1927, but he actually looks younger.... and its a rare occurrence that he looks YOUNGER... we're so used to seeing him in all those well-known talkies. IMDb lists his first film appearance as 1908, while wikipedia says 1911. God he's been around Hollywood forever. Of course, star John Gilbert had been around silents a while, but died quite young 1in 1936. He also must have been hard to live with... he had four wives, and was STILL dead at age 36. According to wikipedia, he also would have married Garbo, but she forgot to show up. As far as the plot... the iguana steals the show in this story of murder and intrigue in this story of circus performers from Budapest. Barrymore is the evil, behind the scenes manipulator, but a lot of it is based on his expressions of intent, from behind a curtain, looking this way and that. Its all right. You have to have a lot of patience to watch the silents, and I can usually only take about one or two of these in a row, before switching to something more contemporary. Historically, its very interesting to see these early pioneers of film (now presented on television) in their craft. Was surprised that one of the actors even says "Christ!" (on the title card), which is a rare form a swearing in the early films. Shown occasionally on Turner Classics.