Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

LOVES OF CARMEN (Fox, 1927)


gagman66
 Share

Recommended Posts

I finally saw this rare Raoul Walsh feature with Dolores Del Rio, Don Alvarado, and Victor McLaglen. Holy Mama! Restore this film now! Del Rio positively smoulders up the screen. Her performance is comic, tragic, feisty, flirtatious and Sexy all rolled into one. Arguably the best roll I have ever seen her in.

 

The gypsy Senora "Carmen" is a woman so terribly beautiful she drives all men wild, and delights in doing so. Handsome "Jose" (Alvarado) a young Spanish Lieutenant ruins himself for the love of her. Helping her to skip Jail after being arrested for a knockdown-drag-out fight on his watch. Motivated to such since the prosecutor has designs on Carmen himself and Jose is uneasy about what might transpire. Later he turns a blind eye at her whim as Gypsy smugglers funnel contraband goods across the border.

 

When Carmen finally meets up with a Man "Escamillo The Bull Fighter" who can actually resist her charms (McLaglen) she is determined to land him. Thwarted at every turn in doing so. Eventually Jose kills a superior officer in a desperate duel to avoid incarceration and court-martial. He's on the run with Carmen at his side. Before long she skips out on Jose and his love, to get another crack at the burly Escamilo? As if any girl would actually prefer the beastly Victor McLaglen to the suave Don Alvarado? With some careful strategy she melts down the defenses of the stand-offish indifferent Bull-fighter. Carmen is triumphant! Another man has fallen in love with her again! Alas, tragedy lies just around the corner.

 

This film must have been a censors nightmare, or maybe dream? None of the flat direction that encumbered WHAT PRICE GLORY?, Walsh proves that he was a master. The film is exquisitely photographed throughout. The supporting Gypsy girls are off the charts gorgeous, and Del Rio more than lives up to her reputation as one of the most beautiful women in the world at that time. In-fact, she doesn't take a back seat in anyway to Rita Hayworth in the sound remake from 20 years later. Dolores is arguably the greatest screen Carmen of them all! Certainly none have ever looked any better. Nor been anymore seductive.

 

LOVES OF CARMEN vastly exceeded my expectations, and it's a very Pre-code Silent. so it should have appeal both from Silent movie as well as Pre-code fans. You can't get much more Pre-code in America than Walsh I don't believe. So no big shock there. Thought I would crack up when Carmen tried to walk in high-heels for the first time, and they are a size or more to small. Ha, Ha, Ha!

 

This highly underrated film cries out for rediscovery. The surviving materials seem to be in pretty good shape. Where is that long awaited Raoul Walsh- Howard Hawks Box-set from Fox that has been stuck on the back burner the past several years?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed, Jeff. Do you know anything about the supposed restoration of this film in 1978? That's an awfully early date for a restoration of a silent, even one as good as this one is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ed,

 

Again, my take is that a print of LOVES OF CARMEN was found probably a few years earlier in a foreign archive someplace. Perhaps in the early 70's. So all that was basically done was a nitrate to safety copy, and the titles were translated back to English, hence the small print fonts we see through out. Clearly not the original title-card designs. Acetate Safeties are no longer uses, because they don't last and are less durable as it turns out then Nitrate. So more recently they starting using a polyester film base for Safety transfers. Now film is in danger of being nixed altogether due to the expaense. But Digital has it's own set of problems where preservation is concerned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...