1930, UNITED, 78 Minutes, b&w, Movietone
A Variety critic (August 20,
1930) reports, "It is not big theatre material, but the houses
catering to the masses in neighborhoods and the sticks should find money
in it. Rabid fans coming to this from a modern menu will find it
much like looking at a 1919 re-release, except that this one talks and
has the present day accompanying music and noise."
Most of the rest of the review deals with the
production techniques, which evidently weren't very good. The only
complete sentence dealing with the theme of the story reads: "Aaron
King is an artist who has an honest love for Sybill, mountain nymph and
daughter of mysterious lineage," though he also mentions
". . . the indoor battle [between] Aaron and the smirky brother of
Mrs. Taine," ". . . the fair nymph is longshotted swimming a
la nude in a studio pool," and "The girls gaurdian, Conrad
LaGrange, is an exceptional author basing his writing upon life and
being really clean of heart like everyone else in the cast."
The Variety critic concludes, "The theme has so many
angles that the job the adapters and Henry King had in bringing it to
film can easily be appreciated."
The Motion Picture Guide, is no more
impressed. "Crude hillbilly melodrama has Holland as an
artist who takes to the hills for solitude and inspiration, but falls
for the lovely Merkel when he spys her skinny-dipping. Long takes
of a typewriter with a barely legible sheet of paper explain the
action. King became on of the most consistently talented directors
in Hollywood, but he shows little of his later abilities in this awful
The New York Times reviewer (August 15,
1930) agreed. "Parts . . . are not with merit, but often it is
muddled and lethargic. This critic gives a pretty thorough
description of the start of the story: "LaGrange is in the habit of
picking the brains of his friends and acquaintances and using what
information he obtains to put into popular magazine serials. This
author thinks so little of his literary contributions that he does not
permit his pretty daughter, Sybil, to read them. This girl,
however, gathers that her father does not have his soul in his work and
says that he puts a lot of funny ideas on paper."
"Brandon Hurst plays Mr. Taine, the
elderly husband of a flirtatious creature. Mrs. Taine sets her cap
at Aaron King, an artist, but this handsome young man falls in love with
Another review of this movie appeared in Exhibitors
Herald-World, August 30, 1930, but I have not yet obtained a copy.
Release: Inspiration Pictures/United Artists release
Production: Sol Lesser production
Director: Henry King
Writing/Screenplay: Adapted by Clarke
Silvernail from Harold Bell
Wright's novel by same name.
Availability: I do not know if the movie is forever lost or
not. If you know, please send me the information.