Beyond the Rocks | Chicago Reader

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81 minutes · 2013

Drama, Silent
Long considered lost, this 1922 silent melodrama was recovered from a private collection in 2003 and restored by the Nederlands Filmmuseum, which has added English intertitles, a new score, and an introduction by Martin Scorsese. It was the only movie to costar Rudolph Valentino (as a dashing English lord) and Gloria Swanson (as a young woman who marries an elderly millionaire, then falls hard for the nobleman), and both give magnetic performances. Director Sam Wood has some genuine classics to his name (Kings Row, A Night at the Opera), but this discovery is unlikely to alter his reputation as a producer's obedient functionary; his compositions are so relentlessly unimaginative that he manages to suggest a proscenium arch in the middle of the North African desert.

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