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10 May 2017

Day Two of Richard Barthelmess - The Enchanted Cottage, 1924

I've decided to have several days of looks at Richard Barthelmess' major roles, starting with the silents.

What I find striking -- and fascinating -- is how different these characters are, despite Barthelmess' very distinctive looks.

Here are some stills from his portrayal of Oliver in the original 1924 film version of The Enchanted Cottage. The Enchanted Cottage was a play by British playwright Arthur Wing Pinero, whose fame stretched back to the turn of the century. It was written in response to the overwhelming trauma of World War 1; the main characters are a catastrophically injured veteran and a plain, lonely spinster, who come together out of loneliness and desperation and discover that love transforms them.

Unfortunately no good prints seem to be generally available; there is a print on youtube, but it is fuzzy and contrast-y. Reputedly there is an excellent print held by (I believe) the Library of Congress but it is not available to ordinary viewers. 

Oliver confronts his shattered body.

He finds a place to be alone

Oliver and Laura decide to share their lonely lives

Love transforms Oliver and Laura

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