Encore une exceptionnelle composition de George Bancroft, époustouflante incarnation d'une "brute au grand coeur", dans une rigoureuse et audacieuse réalisation qui oscille entre mélodramatiques échouages affectifs, impressionnant réalisme maritime et poétiques élancées visuelles... www.cinefiches.com
"Here, Hollywood, here's what I can do on my own. Now don't you want to hire me?" http://illusionpodcast.blogspot.com/2015/11/episode-79-sternberg-before-dietrich.html "'We are SMART cinephiles!'" http://illusionpodcast.blogspot.com/2015/12/episode-82-cinema-masters-vol-xi.html
Un filme alineado a los primeros filmes de Von Sternberg y que individualmente causa curiosidad a partir de que sería una suerte de antítesis al modelo melodramático del cine silente. El filme no promueve personajes idílicos sino todo lo contrario. Estos son sujetos totalmente imperfectos que se complementan (algo que también sucede en "The last command") en un contexto y atmósfera igual de imperfecta.
Misty, sensual, alluring, and slightly melancholic. The story is undeniably simple, and the progress of the main couple's relationship is kind of absurd, but von Sternberg's visual style makes this a memorable romance. The docks is presented as an almost otherworldly place where the usual conventions don't apply. There's also the absence of sappiness, which in my book is laudable.
One of the greatest of all silent films, this is piercingly contemporary and overwhelmingly beautiful. A benchmark in film atmosphere and a key example of von Sternberg's visual genius, yes, but also brimming with emotional intelligence. The simplicity of the story allows for von Sternberg to inject surprising subtlety and shading to the characters and their relationships.
Mike A's comment below provides the perfect word to describe this: fluidity. It's a von Sternberg staple and is on full display here. The photography is nothing short of spectacular. Some story limitations hold this one back from being among von Sternberg's very best, but it's still a gorgeous film and a must-see as a masterclass in tasteful direction.
A really beautifully made film with gorgeous black and white cinematography and a rather tired and unconvincing romance between two people so completely ill-maatched that they can't do anything other than wind up together. Some nice flourishes along the way, though. Interesting to see Betty Compson deliver the same performance that Marlene Dietrich would be delivering a few years later.