Sabtu, 18 Desember 2010
Albert Parker - Eyes of Youth (1919)
A young woman, confronted by four options for proceeding in her life, is granted the ability to see what results would come from her choice of of the options. After she sees her future along three of the roads, she makes her choice.
The Eyes of Clara Are Upon You, 15 September 2007
Author: wes-connors from Earth
Clara Kimball Young (as Gina Ashling) is at a crossroads in her life -- she has a promising operatic voice, and is invited to pursue a career in Paris; her family, however, wants her to remain at home and help support the family. She is also being courted by a wealthy man; however, she does not love him, and would only be marrying for financial security. ENTER a disciple from the East -- the spiritual-type Hindu (played by Vincent Serrano, he is introduced in the film's opening); he arrives to show Ms. Kimball Young his Crystal Ball -- in which she sees her future.
This is an impressively mounted silent film production, with a great cast, and an ambitious story structure. The mysterious Hindu man's crystal ball provides heroine Kimball Young (and movie viewers) the opportunity to "see" three different future scenarios: In "The Path of Duty" she stays with the family and becomes a schoolteacher. In "The Path of Ambition" she pursues her operatic singing career. In "The Path of Wealth" she marries for money and security. You may believe a Hindu can show Kimball Young the future in a crystal ball -- but, some of the unfolding events, and choices, strain credulity. Schoolteachers and career-women are wretched creatures!
Kimball Young's performance is the film's highlight. She is not consistently great; but, her best scenes are enough to explain her status as one of the decade's top actresses. For example, in a "Duty" scene, she checks her aged appearance in a mirror effectively. Her best work occurs in the film's final "Wealth" segment -- incredibly, she transforms herself into a gaunt, drug-addicted street-walker. The scenes with the desolate Kimball Young walking rain-drenched streets are convincing, and artful.
Director Albert Parker and Kimball Young are assisted by a fine supporting cast -- the Ashling family includes brother Gareth Hughes, sister Pauline Starke, and father Sam Southern. Kimball Young's suitors include Milton Sills, Edmund Lowe, and Ralph Lewis -- all performing well. The most notable supporting player, in hindsight, is Rudolph Valentino as smarmy "Cabaret Parasite" Clarence Morgan; he further elevates the film's fine "Path of Wealth" segment. Valentino watchers should note he appears about 50 minutes into the production.