Dream of Love
Various phases of palpitation of the heart are paraded during the screening of "Dream of Love," a Ruritanian romance inspired by the old French stage offering, "AdrienneLecouvreur." Prince Mauritz, the central figure in these love escapades, for purely patriotic reasons, not only flirts with the Dictator's wife, but he occasionally basks in the glimmering presence of a gold-digging blonde and falls in love with a singer.
Fred Niblo, who directed this picture, has given to it much more reason and sparkle than he did to "Two Lovers." In fact, in many respects it is not only an amusing picture, but one that reveals true skill in its direction. Mr. Niblo has elicited from his principals competent work, and he has had the temerity to let the story run without flashing uselessly to the journeying heroine while the more interesting action of the narrative is holding forth. There are toward the end some scenes of great crowds, but whether they were made especially for this production is not known. Their inclusion, is, however, quite effective.
Prince Mauritz, impersonated by Nils Asther, is a most immaculately uniformed young man. The Dictator, played by Warner Oland, is wont to refer to the handsome fellow as the "long-legged Prince." This kingdom is evidently in a wretched state, for Prince Mauritz has nothing whatever to say about finance or other matters. The Dictator has a pretty wife, acted by Aileen Pringle, who, either to bring about the downfall of Prince Mauritz or to teach her husband a lesson, frequently visits the Prince. The Prince is in love with Adrienne, a singer with a traveling show. He is, however, eminently successful in casting her from his mind when the Duchess, as the Dictator's wife is known, reports at his apartment.
The Dictator finds his attention riveted on a Countess (Carmel Myers), but while she apparently appreciates the elderly person's declaration, of affection in public, she is not opposed to receiving in her abode a Baron. When the Dictator calls her on the telephone she insists that she is all alone, waiting for him to come to see her, and then one perceives the Baron enjoying the Countess's little joke.
The Prince, in his eagerness to break up the more or less happy home of the Dictator so as to put that individual out of power, very nearly loses Adrienne, his real love, who latterly appears as a successful actress with a glistening dress.
The settings for this production are lavish and so are the costumes. There are dozens of men in smart officers' uniforms and Miss Pringle does well with the Duchess's gowns and sparkling skull caps.
Mr. Niblo makes excellent use of the mobile cameras. He follows his characters all over the place and in some scenes he singles out the heroine in a crowd and brings her, as if from a distance, to a close-up.
Mr. Asther is capital as the romantic Prince. Mr. Oland leaves no stone unturned to show the pomp and power of the Dictator. Harry Myers, who will be remembered in the now long ago for his clever portrayal in "A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur," once again proves himself to be an intelligent and pleasing player.
Joan Crawford is charming as the humble singer, who wins stage laurels and subsequently admits her love for the Prince.
No sound issued from the screen at the first performance yesterday. Even the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion refused to roar. It was rather nice, this silence, and one did not object to the organist supplying the accompaniment for the picture.