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THE GAUCHO (1927)


Guest dredagain
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THE GAUCHO was the first "flop" for Douglas Fairbanks.Apparently it made money but not to the same degree as THE BLACK PIRATE of THE THIEF OF BAGDAD.

 

He plays a Robin Hood sort of "criminal" who is actually better than the prevailing government. The film is a lot of fun and is maybe Fairbanks' best acting performance in a silent film. He employs the usual broad gestures and wall-to-wall smile but there's a sequence where he has been infected by a victim of "the black doom" and seeks redemption. He's quite wonderful.

 

At age 45, Fairbanks displays an amazing athleticism, and the film (a very good print indeed) is quite enjoyable. Lupe Velez is the heroine and Eve Southern is the "miracle lady." Mary Pickford appears in 2 scenes as the Virgin Mary!

 

The music score was just fine, but I forgot the name of the composer. He wasn't anyone I had heard of and had 3 names... middle name was Jill....

 

THE GAUCHO is a terrific silent film about faith and redemption.

 

Anyone seen it?

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In that show from Argentina, in which we can watch silent films online, in recent showing of this Douglas Fairbanks vehicle they stated that it was his very best film.

 

It is a very pleasant film. The Argentina described there is a poetic fantasy, as Fairbanks stated himself, with no pretension of realism nor trying to look believable.

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Ed, Jorge,

 

I think this is Fairbanks most underrated production. No one ever seems to mention the film much. Rather odd considering than Wife Pickford was in it with him, and this is the only feature where that happened. I first saw the movie back in 1994 on the old AMC. I was quite taken by it on the very first viewing.

 

Beautiful optical effects, with Mary as a Startling Heavenly Apparition of the Blessed Mother. Her luminescent Crown as "Queen of Peace" Twirling majestically, yet hauntingly above Her head. A genuine heartfelt, and moving storyline as well. I think Fairbanks wrote this story under his Elton Thomas Allais didn't He? I'll need to check.

 

THE GAUCHO is perhaps the best refutation of many historians and critics who insist that Doug's films were flatly photographed by the standards of the day, and lacking in sophisticated directorial and cinematographic touches.

 

I have not seen the film in 3 or 4 years, so I will need to look it up again, I recall the score on the Kino DVD as being quite good. Although, it is largely a Synthesized Music score, which I am not normally that fond of. In some sequences, Violin, and Piano are prevalent. I remember the exuberant Mexican Dance sequence between Doug, and Lupe Velez very well.

 

Doug's character looks allot like Zorro here, but without the Mask. And of course it was Doug himself who originated that famous role for the Movies in 1920.

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It's a very beautiful film.... the sets are truly impressive with the City of the Miracle shrine as well as the incredible set at the edge of the gorge, which you assume is all fake until a line of riders on horses comes down a pass. I don't know how they did it but it was very impressive.

 

Jeff... Fairbanks often used an alias and provided the story as Elton Thomas; this was an Elton Production so I assume Fairbanks (and brother Robert who is credited as General Manager) had total control of the film although it was directed by F. Richard Jones.

 

I'll have to check out the music credit later today but I don't think it was synthesized.

 

The dance number was fun with Fairbanks grabbing Lupe Velez and then twirling his bolo (right word?) around them to hold them together while they danced.... also fun was when the hauled the house off its foundation...

 

The whole section about the "Black Doom" and the surprising religious center gave this film an whole different feel from Fairbanks' other adventure films....

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Jeff, a small correction : Doug and Mary also appeared together in the 1929 production of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. THE GAUCHO is one of my favorite Fairbanks films. Lupe Velez looks and acts very sexy in this film. It would be nice if the scenes of Mary Pickford as the Virgin Mary still survived in two color Technicolor.

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Scottman,

 

Yes, of course the couple appeared together in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. Which I have seen.

 

I should have said that other than Newsreel footage, this is the only Silent film that they appear in together. I was addressing Mary and Doug's Silent's only, and did not even pause to consider the Talkies.

 

I agree I'll bet the Blessed Mother footage was stunning in Technicolor! Especially, based on what I have seen of THE VIKING!

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yes she well knew Fairbanks was something of a carouser... I don't think Fairbanks and Velez really kiss in THE GAUCHO... they hug, he kisses her on the cheek and forehead. At they end they MIGHT actually kiss but they turn slightly from the camera so you can't tell....

 

I had not heard that Pickford's "madonna" scenes were in color... that would have been quite spectacular....

 

Music on my version was by Sidney Jill Lehman..... guitar, violin, and piano mostly.... Jorge's great tango recordings would be a perfect fir for this film.

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Ed,

 

I'll bet that by 1926 Mary Packed a Wallop too! She had so much practice boxing with all those bratty Kids during the making of LITTLE ANNIE ROONEY the year before! She was Tiny, but as tough as they come!

 

Yes Sir, "Watch out Billie old Gal, or I'll Pluck your Feathers!" Err, didn't Dove always seem to wear feathers???

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Billie Dove was at one point considered to be the most beautiful woman in films.... Lupe Velez had a reputation for having affairs with all her leading men but maybe not as early as THE GAUCHO.... in any case Pickford apparently kept a close eye on Doug while he was making films....

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Ed,

 

I know Dove's reputation, but I don't really see Her as the radiant Beauty that a Corinne Griffith, or Delores Costello was some reason? I'm not real sure that She even made my list? Did She? I'll take Dorothy Janis, Jetta Goudal, or Laura La Plante any day! Maybe even Pickford!

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Pickford is quite exquisite, but her looks were always sort of overshadowed because of her Little Mary character. But when she played adult roles in films like LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY (as the mother), the grown-up Mary in DADDY-LONG-LEGS, or later films like MY BEST GIRL and even COQUETTE.... she's quite beautiful.

 

The silent era had an embarrassment of riches when it came to great beauties: Corinne Griffith, Barbara Lamarr, Gloria Swanson, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Laura La Plante, Lupe Velez, Dolores Del Rio, Norma Talmadge, Mary Pickford, Mary Astor, Anita Page, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Bebe Daniels, Mary Miles MInter (still haven't seen her in a film), Anna Q. Nilsson, Clara Bow, Louise Glaum, Mary Nolan, Renee Adoree, Leila Hyams, Billie Dove, and Eleanor Boardman to name a few....

 

I also think Bessie Love was the cutest thing going.....

 

Message was edited by: drednm

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Had to ignore this thread (hard to do) until I watched THE GAUCHO and it made me recall that many film historians say that Brown Eyes retired to Pamplona, Spain but the running of the bulls there has nothing on this exciting film! How do you say fabulous in Spanish? You're so right about the incredible set, Ed- what a location- you could almost taste the dust! And women everywhere should have a little Lupe Velez in them, fire and honesty- good combo. Great simple score with a trumpet or cornet? that suits the locale- fine, fine film! Good one for a cold winter day...

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Oh I think Lupe had a little of all the men in her.... oops sorry.... I think Lupe was a great beauty and a terrific comedienne. The old story of Hollywood not being able to think of anything better than Mexican Spitfire roles for her, especially after talkies came in (something thankfully Dolores Del Rio was able to avoid).

 

But I liked THE GAUCHO better than the bloated BLACK PIRATE. Fairbanks looked old but was still quite agile, and this may be his best acting performance.

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Lupe Velez inspired a famous waltz more famous in Argentina than the lady and, ultimate, tragic star herself.

 

Lucio Demare wrote it in Spain and Agust?n Irusta and Roberto Fugazot wrote the lyrics that they originally perfomed in duet (with Demare at the piano).

 

These Argentine recordings (which I did not restore) are from 1931, and the waltz was probably written one or two years before when Demare went to see one of her silents.

 

First is the recording by Ada Falc?n with accompaniment of the Francisco Canaro orchestra, which is quite slow!:

 

http://www.esnips.com/doc/5b4e8ed3-778d-4162-9b89-a39ac96902ad/Francisco-Canaro---Lupe-(Vals)-21-11-1931-Ada-Falc%C3%B3n

 

to download: http://www.esnips.com/nsdoc/5b4e8ed3-778d-4162-9b89-a39ac96902ad/?id=1203050036359

 

And here is the recording of the Francisco Canaro orchestra with Charlo and Angel Ramos performing a vocal refrain:

 

http://www.esnips.com/doc/91d2a0e0-9f90-459e-8f94-b95f4f9fd5e3/Francisco-Canaro---Lupe-(Vals)---1931--Cantan-Charlo-y-A.Ramos

 

to download: http://www.esnips.com/nsdoc/91d2a0e0-9f90-459e-8f94-b95f4f9fd5e3/?id=1203050222515

 

Message was edited by: radiotelefonia

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Jorge,

Such pretty music- like being at an outdoor cafe in Europe and very interesting about Lupe's waltz...

 

And drednm,

Maybe I should've specified the fire and honesty of Lupe's character in THE GAUCHO- 'The Mountain Girl', yet another mountain girl! And it takes two to tango, generally speaking, and Gary Cooper liked to dance as much as Clara Bow and Ms.Velez, interestingly...

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Jorge... Fairbanks was, for all his athleticism, not a good dancer... but the scene where Fairbanks and Velez dance is VERY good.... yes FIERY.... and THAT'S exactly the scene where one of your vintage tangos would have been PERFECT...

 

and can anyone imagine what Pickford's appearance as the Virgin in Technocolot must have been like? What a surprise.

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Ed,

 

Hold the phone, You give me to much credit! I'm a long ways away from being able to Colorize film footage! I have not even figured out how to add Tints yet! I know it can be done, this new program "Fade To Black" is supposed to be able to do it? But it's all Greek to me right now!!!

 

Colorizing Still photo's, and actual film, or in the case Video are World's apart! Has anyone else here even attempted to Tint a Black and White movie? How is it done?

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