Silent Era, probably the most important silent film site on the internet, has a long-running poll to find the best…
Last silent film by Lubitsch and my first real disappointment. The film didn't draw me in at any moment. Too melodramatic and sloppy in characterization without anything other than a nice mountainous setting to make up for it.
"Eternal Love" is a glorious silent melodrama from Ernst Lubitsch. In the Swiss mountains, two lovers seem destined for each other, until a drunken night when Marcus sleeps with his stalker. He's forced to marry her, leaving Ciglia despondent enough to marry someone else. Each couple makes the best of the situation, but events continue to conspire against Marcus and Ciglia ever being happy. There is an intense thread of religion running through the drama, making the ending that much more shocking as it is inevitable. It may not be one of the best from Lubitsch, but it is certainly enjoyable.
Lubitsch slumming it in a hokey silent melodrama. It positively speeds through the plot, hitting just the important beats of the novel and racing to the finish in a mere 71 minutes. I feel like I just read a Wikipedia summary of a movie instead of watching one. Barrymore hams it up, Camilla Horn is lovely but mostly useless here, and the supporting characters exist only as vague outlines of human beings. It's a shame, because the ending would have packed a real punch if the film weren't in such a damn hurry to get there (and if it weren't trying so hard to assure us that it's a happy ending).
A tragic romance amongst Swiss peasants in the early 19th century doesn't seem all that hopeful a subject, but the great Ernst Lubitsch is directing what it would turn out to be his last silent film and he certainly leaves the silent era in great style! John Barrymore in the lead smoulders his way through a part that gives him little chance at swashbuckling but does prove what a fine actor he was and Camilla Horn is almost as good as she was in Murnau's "Faust." Some beautiful photography Lubitsch beautifully uses the images far more than the intertitles to tell the story and gets across some difficult plot points by image alone throughout, a film of such intensity that it would have only been lessoned by sound.
"No more Lubitsch," lamented Billy Wilder at the great man's funeral.
"Worse than that - no more Lubitsch films," replied…
1929 was a awkward year within the silent to sound transition. Cinemas was still being wired for sound and…