A ditzy American girl visiting Monte Carlo is hired by a tennis champ to be his “cardboard lover”—to pretend to be in love with him so he can teach his two-timing fiancé a lesson and win her back. What he doesn’t realize is that the girl isn’t pretending—she actually is in love with him, and she sets out to win him for herself. —IMDb
Robert Z. “Pop” Leonard was a highly successful contract director at MGM, to such extent that critical appreciation of his work is practically nonexistent or of a negative kind. Nevertheless, the transparency of Leonard’s work conceals a skilled and talented artisan of the highest order, and several of his films rate as classics and remain popular favorites decades after they were made. Born in Chicago, Leonard began as a stage actor, making his film debut in 1908 at the Selig Polyscope studios in Chicago; his directing career began in 1913 at Rex, a former independent then operating as a unit within Universal. Leonard’s early films were comedies, often starring Leonard himself as a “boob” or an ethnic Swedish caricature. From the time vaudeville star Mae Murray arrived in Hollywood in 1916, Leonard gradually became her principal director, he abandoned his own career as a movie actor by 1918, but did make unbilled cameo appearances in later films.
Murray’s headstrong behavior and… read more
This is another superb and, unfortunately, obscure, silent comedy that fitly showcases the comedic adroitness of funny girl Marion Davies. Here, Davies is a delightful pest fighting for the affections of Nils Asther, a terrifically suave, Danish-born actor of the day, with stiff competition from Jetta Goudal, one of most extravagant and exotically alluring seductresses of the silent era. Highly recommended.