The son of a cotton manufacturer, Clarence Brown moved from Massachusetts to the South when he was eleven. He attended the University of Tennessee, graduating at the age of 19 with two degrees in engineering. An early fascination in automobiles led Brown to a mechanics-expert post with the Stevens Duryea Company, then to his own Alabama-based Brown Motor Car Company. He abandoned this concern when a new interest in motion pictures began manifesting itself circa 1913. Hired by the Peerless Studio at Fort Lee, New Jersey, Brown became assistant to the great French-born director Maurice Tourneur. Until the day he died, Brown attributed his future success in films to what he had learned under Tourneur’s tutelage. After World War I service, Brown was given his first co-directing credit (with Tourneur) for 1920’s The Great Redeemer; that same year, he directed a goodly portion of The Last of the Mohicans when official director Tourneur was injured in a fall. Soloing for the first time with… read more
Avoid Pastor's mistake: that female twins are the same person. Comparing Felicitas to Hertha, the difference is clear when Hertha dances with a kid instead of Leo. Hertha lets go immediate desires while tolerating those for which she cares less. Hertha accepts being unfulfilled, starting at a young age. Devil's possession of Felicitas is evidenced in the opposite. Acts of sacrifice reveal the opposing 'Angel/Spirit.'
Glorious MGM product, the height of silent melodrama, with Garbo at her most beautiful as a hussy who, for some reason, has men constantly fighting gun duels over her. She gets her due, eventually, but it's a hoot watching her get there. Studio stalwart Clarence Brown and master women's cameraman William Daniels add class to the hothouse proceedings.
Do her tales of mistreatment, misogyny and discrimination in early Hollywood hold water?
Also: The lavishly illustrated new book, Scorsese on Scorsese, and Weegee in Hollywood.