Thursday, April 26, 2012

The River (1928)

Allen John (Charles Farrell) meets the worldly Rosalee (Mary Duncan) while traveling down the river on his barge.  She's been living near a secluded valley, where the construction of a dam has been postponed until springtime.  Her boyfriend Marsden (Alfred Sabato) is in jail serving time for murder, and his talented crow watches after Rosalee.  Allen John is captivated by Rosalee, and although he plans to continue on his original journey, finds himself continually missing the necessary afternoon train.  Rosalee is torn between loyalty to Marsden and her new feelings for Allen John, and it all comes to a climax when Marsden returns . . .

Nearly half the footage of The River has been lost.  I watched the 55-minute reconstruction, which uses intertitles and promotional stills to fill in the missing sections.  The plot runs smoothly throughout as well as keeping in the bulk of Allen John and Rosalee's memorable romance.

I really like this film.  Although it would be amazing for the lost footage to be restored, this reconstruction does an excellent job of keeping the fluidity of the story intact.  Much of the plot focuses on rugged, handsome Allen John and sultry Rosalee -- their scenes are very intimate and erotic in a beautifully crafted way.  In fact, the whole film is stunning technically with lighting and settings that emphasize the moody, enchanting atmosphere.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ½

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