The early Hollywood gem Lonesome is the creation of a little-known but audacious and one-of-a-kind auteur, Paul Fejos (a filmmaker/explorer/anthropologist/doctor!), who bridged the gap between the silent and sound eras.
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The dialogue in Paul Fejos' semi-silent LONESOME may seem cheesy by today's standards, but this long unavailable early sound era triumph about two single working stiffs who find each other for one glorious night in New York, is a swooningly romantic masterpiece. From the gorgeous color elements to the early sound scenes retooled for audiences demanding sound, this experimental mix of styles hits the spot.
A charming little film of great warmth and energy, with some fine performances from Barbara Kent and Glenn Tryon. The film might be too energetic, though, it gets borderline frantic at times -- was Coney Island really that crazy?
Granted, this is a sweet and bubbly romance (the type I don't usually like), but I completely fell in love with the sincerity and the frantic and exhausting energy. Tryon is adorable and charming, and the way the screen is overwhelmed by the huge frolicking crowds and the overlapping of images is wonderful (the roller coaster ride!). During a little amount of time, Fejös makes the viewer care about the characters.
Save for some awkward talking scenes shoehorned in from studio pressure, the film is exuberant throughout. The film showcases an artistic use of both sound and color rather than a literalization of the image that gives it a timeless energy. The biggest surprise was the great and stunningly sincere performances (again, save the talking bits). This movie could only be made in 1928, and for all of the best reasons.
This exhilarating silent film shifts suddenly into a talking picture for only about 30 seconds, and you're so wrapped up in these characters you almost want to cry. How lucky are we to have this unsung masterpiece back in circulation. Don't miss this.
So glad I finally found a copy of this one! This is only 70 minutes but I will never forget any second of it. I don't know much about Fejos works but I'll try to watch more of his stuff very soon. Late 20's cinema always will be my favorite era and this is one of the greatest films of the period. Fantastic movie! 5 stars easily.