Most folks already know the mythos, since it has been remade so many times: a masked, Robin Hood-style character defends the normal people against corrupt government officials. Because it’s such a familiar tale, parts of it that were probably interesting in 1920 come across a little dull. However, which is a BIG however, once Douglas Fairbanks takes over, it’s not dull! He performs Don Diego (the daytime alter-ego of Zorro) as strange and effete, constantly pulling little magic methods so that they can impress Lois Lane Lolita (Marguerite de la Motte, who could pass for Dolores Costello).
Lolita is there because her dad wants her to marry money, and finds Diego boring and uncomfortable. This only gets worse after a chance run-in with Zorro, who steals her center. Little does she know! This was the very first time I got to see the renowned Fairbanks doing his thing, and oh, those stunts!
At one point I wrote in my notebook “grandfather of parkour”. I had been duly impressed by his power and finesse. Silly little thing which i loved: watch Marguerite de la Motte’s hands in the closing scene. A theatre with an interesting premise: a Secret Society exists to rid the world of those who make the world worse instead of better.
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The soldier of the Cause, as it were, is chosen via a deck of cards – he who selects the Ace of Hearts must destroy “the person who has lived too long”. The Society is composed of nine (in numerology, a number of completion) – one female, Lilith (Leatrice Joy), and eight men, two of whom (Lon Chaney and John Bowers) are in love with her.
She feels no love for anything but the Cause, until Forrest (Bowers) draws the “lucky” credit card. She warms to him and they marry, much to the anguish of Farallone (Chaney, who is just heart-rendingly pathetic in his scenes on the steps). Love changes a person, however, and instantly both Forrest and Lilith are uncertain of what they’re about to do. Will they carry out the assassination still?
Will Farallone help them, or will his bitterness result in a rift? I liked this movie really. Yes, it was predictable, and hugely overacted (especially by Joy), but it was unique of the most common “boy meets girl” plots, and the ending is terrific. I especially enjoy when Chaney reaches play a guy rather than monster, and uses that beautiful face of his to tell the story equally well as when he’s in prosthetic makeup.
Aaaaaaand then the lights went out. Near the top of my notebook in big stop letters: CREEPY. So much has been said about the German Expressionist models, but they are stunning and heighten the sense of eerie claustrophobia really. They make the film, hands down. I cannot describe any longer. You have to see this.
If you are a enthusiast of modern fare by Tim Burton, you will love the sets. The plot blows away the majority of today’s “horror thrillers”. It is spooky, nightmarish, and absolutely riveting. Look for the scene where Caligari staggers through the streets while chased by his own horrible thoughts, quite literally.
He left the condition of Wakasa some time ago and went in to the capital city for a pleasure trip. Wakasa isn’t very definately not this new capital therefore the trip wasn’t long or exhausting to make. The violent warriors, jealous of and angry at the people residing in the city, know that there’s no key design organized to allow them to succeed, to allow them to live well in the administrative centre city.