Beverly of Graustark (1914)

Short, Drama

It is 1900. Grenfell Lorry is the son of wealthy American parents. On a train in New England Lorry meets a mysterious young woman, Miss Guggenslocker, and finds himself irresistibly ... See full summary »

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2 October 2018 | boblipton
| Mrs. D.W. Griffith
In this short feature, Linda Arvidson is on the way to visit her friend, the princess of Graustark. She is captured by Charles Perley, a goat hunter with exquisite manners. He is actually the disguised prince of a neighboring country who has been driven out of power by his evil brother. By the usual mistakes that occur in this this sort of Ruritanian fiction, he mistakes her for the Princess and sends her on her way. Soon, however, he and she are involved in various goings-on in Graustark and his own country.

It's based on the novel by George Barr McCutcheon, who rose to prominence with his novel GRAUSTARK. He was soon called upon to write more Prisoner-of-Zenda-style romances, even though he preferred his stage work and efforts like BREWSTER'S MILLIONS. It was produced by Biograph during their collapse as a film-production company, and it shows. Even though the acting and photography are excellent, it was saddled with numerous titles to explain what was going on. This reduced it to an "illustrated text" movie, in which the titles tell you what you are about to see, reducing the actual movie to largely an afterthought.

Miss Arvidson was actually Mrs. D.W. Griffith. They had separated about six years earlier, although they did not divorce until the 1930s. She had left Biograph in 1912 for what should have been a better contract, but the company collapsed within a year. She made one more movie after this and retired from the screen.

The story was remade in 1926, with Marion Davies in the lead. I assume it is a better movie.


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