The Manxman (1929)
Starring: Carl Brisson, Anny Ondra, Malcolm Keen
Plot: Two friends since childhood, one rich, one poor, one a lawyer, the other a fisherman, both love the same girl. Soon the life aspects of love and marriage and even a baby carriage comes about as secrets and lies start to destroy two best friends who are like brothers since childhood.
My Review and Thoughts:
Another classic silent film before the talkies and also was the last silent film Hitchcock directed.
Sadly it’s a dead art form and looking back today people take it for granted or look at it as an old graveyard of cinema. People don’t realize how hard it was to film a movie without sound. It all had to be acted in emotion. You had to tell the story through facial expressions, body movements and pure soul, mind and heart inducing acting.
Your face, body and actions through emotions had to be the words to explain and make the audience understand the plot or what was happening. It’s an art form beyond today because now it’s easy to display the actions and to hold the audience. But when you’re making an hour or a two hour long movie without words you have to able to hold that viewer and keep them interested and glued to the screen.
The silent actors where masters at their work because they gave it their all. There very body had to become the movie, they had to sale there part without words, without defining who they are in long dialogue, they had to do it in body and facial motion making the silent players, directors, actors all the more grand then today’s actors who get to talk.
It starts out with some wonderful shots of the sea and those many fishermen boats coming into port. You are introduced to two young handsome men Philip a lawyer and Pete a local fisherman. Both best friends since childhood and now they consider themselves brothers. Pete is played by Carl Brisson I have to add he is stunningly gorgeous and amazingly handsome and is a talented brilliant actor.
Now steam boats want to come into port. Philip and Pete start a petition to stop the steamers. Both Pete and Philip have the hot’s for Kate a local bar man’s daughter. Pete wants to ask Kate to marry him, but Pete is scared of her father so he ask Philip to speak for him. The dad is upset telling Pete he is a penniless lout and he has no right even to mention Kate’s name. Pete is upset and refuses to take no. He decided he was shipping off to Africa to make his fortune abroad and then he will come back and wed Kate.
Now Philip sees a little opportunity until Kate promises to wait for Pete and so Pete makes Philip promise to watch over and take care of Kate while he is gone. Soon as time passes Philip and Kate spend more and more time together and the heartstrings start to pull on each other. This is a beautiful, touching dramatic romance that all the viewers can relate to. Soon the plot twist and thickens as a telegram is sent saying Pete has been killed. But guess what the news is wrong but both Kate and Philip’s love has grown and both of their hearts have connected and also their bodies.
Pete is heading home with his riches and a ring for Kate. There is a really powerful filmed moment when Philip gives Kate the news that Pete is alive. Both are on the beach stunned watching the ship that is bringing Pete in. The camera spans to their faces and emotions, then back to the ship that’s getting closer. Then back to show more emotions, then back to the ship that’s gets closer all the while a deep music is playing and the action for emotions show the heart break and turmoil in Philips and Kate’s heart and eyes.
This is a brilliant and beautiful and romantic story that touches the real fabric of love and drama in life. A classic silent film with a touching side of drama and a thought provoking ordeal of one’s many misery trapped inside a lie and a secret hidden from all accept the one you truly. The original story was came from the author of Sir Hall Caine. The movie was adapted from this story. Also you can see how many movies this day and age and in the past has taken this subject matter and created movies around it.
A pure passionate piece of cinema silent art.