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Saturday, June 26, 2010


Constance Talmadge clings to a bit of Hollywood fame as the spunky Mountain Girl in D.W. Griffith’s INTOLERANCE/’‘16. (She’s the girl in the Babylon segment who snacks on scallions so no one will buy her at the brides’ market.) But in the 1920s, she was one of the top stars in light romantic comedies. This typical bit of fluff finds her playing an American millionairess who travels to England and falls for Ronald Colman’s cash-strapped British Lord. There’d really be little problem (and no story) if he were the fortune hunting cad the situation calls for, but his honesty and upstanding morals just keep getting them into farcical troubles. The film holds a bit of historical interest as an example of ‘20s commercial hackery, but the pleasures are modest to a fault. Sidney Franklin megs with little sparkle or invention, just as he did in his M-G-M heyday. At best, it’s . . . unobjectionable.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Anita Loos, who wrote GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES and some of Hollywood’s naughtiest Pre-Code dialogue, bio’d the famous Talmadge sisters (Norma, Natalie & Constance) in THE TALMADGE GIRLS. The research & opinions are hardly scholarly, but Loos was there and earned her POV.

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