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267 Ratings


Directed by Pál Fejös
United States, 1928
Comedy, Drama, Romance


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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Lonesome Directed by Pál Fejös
Despite LONESOME’s complex and virtuosic visual style, this degradation tarnished the experience hardly at all. Don’t get me wrong: the restored 35mm print that will be screening on Sunday… is an object of great beauty and I envy those who will see the film for the first time under such blessed circumstances. But the mongrelized bootleg of LONESOME tapped into something elemental and true about this very special film, which would be impure and compromised in any version.
March 03, 2017
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Falling in love on Fourth of July weekend, Coney Island-style, gives Fejos room to flex other then-emerging innovations for pure spectacle. How better to capture the Wonder Wheel at the time than to tint it a dreamy pink glow, or the jolting rush of a coaster than by strapping a camera to the front? Summer’s gone, so preserve the memory one last time.
September 23, 2015
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Essentially a two-character piece, which is why it matters that both lead performances are mediocre: Barbara Kent is lovely but can’t avoid bits of pantomime fakery when e.g. she’s waking up and stretching, or waving goodbye to a departing car, while Glenn Tryon comes off bumptious and self-conscious as he tries for youthful exuberance (doing two things at once, pretending to talk to an invisible butler, etc).
March 01, 2015
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What are people saying?

  • josé neves's rating of the film Lonesome

    35mm, rewatched. In relation to this urban symphony, a superior moment of a cinema still structurally silent, even if with music, sounds and some sonorized dialogues, whose beginning is what there is of more "Metropolis" after the homonym film - in fictional cinema, otherwise i have to add Paul Strand's "Manhatta" - i will be synthetic, but superlative absolute: remarkable (in portuguese, notabilíssimo).

  • Matthew_Lucas's rating of the film Lonesome

    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.

  • Amadeus Magnus's rating of the film Lonesome

    Yin of The Crowd. Looks like today's independent movies. May have provided inspiration for Before Sunrise, La Science des Rêves etc. I like very much.

  • Roscoe's rating of the film Lonesome

    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?

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Lonesome

    This is an impressive silent both for its rhythm and the appealing characters as well as for its dynamic technique. The latter is not only evident in the influence of Soviet montage (there are gorgeous superimpositions on factory work) but also in the density and movement inserted in the shots, mainly those of casual crowds at the beach or the amusement park. Loneliness and the joy of reuniting are palpably felt.

  • Log Lady's rating of the film Lonesome

    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.

  • Brendan's rating of the film Lonesome

    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.

  • MarcH's rating of the film Lonesome

    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.

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