« Les Misérables »
Frank Lloyd, who adapted and directed the Fox production of "Les Miserables", has done a good job - in fact a wonderful one. He must have been given considerable leeway in the matter of expenditure, and used it to good advantage. The settings are most artistic, and while not lavish, it was necessary to build a goodly number to create proper atmosphere. He was ably seconded throughout by the camera work of Billy Foster. Everything that could intelligently be garnered for the proper presentation on the screen of the Victor Hugo masterpiece was placed at the director's disposal excepting great actors and actresses. […] William Farnum plays the leading role that of a man who goes through every conceivable suffering, including 19 years as a galley slave in the days when criminals were not treated with the uplift that prevails at present. At the conclusion of it all, after undergoing the most agonized mental anguish he still looks fat and sleek. […] After 19 years in jail he didn't look a day older, and years after that, as M. Madeleine, the Mayor of Malence, he looked even younger. As a feeble old man, with the grip of death upon him, he was still a smooth fat-faced man in the prime of life. Real artistic make-up was contributed by Edward Ellis as Thenardier. To mark the passing of time he lengthened the beard and shaggy eyebrows, drooped his shoulders, and lessened the virility of his walk. The star was always William Farnum, never Jean Valjean or M. Madeleine. Kittens Reichert as Cosette at the age of 8 contributed a wonderfully effective performance, and struck the true note. Hardee Kirkland as Javert was consistent throughout with the remainder of the cast ridiculously incompetent. Sonia Markova as Fantine ruined what should have been one of the most striking characters of the story. The second half of the two and a half hours of the feature held many effective scenes, a series of street battles representing the second French Revolution being most stirring. The reproduction of the old sewers of Paris was also a fine piece of stagework. The film production by William Fox of "Les Miserables" is a big feature. It differs entirely from the French one shown here a few years ago, and if a comparison were to be made it would suffer through incompetent acting. A pity so much time, money and intelligent direction should have been coupled with such mediocre histrionic talent. Jolo.