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Sam Wood (GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, PRIDE OF THE YANKEES) directs this delirious Elinor Glyn melodrama/roller-coaster ride through the English countryside, the Swiss Alps, Paris, London and the Sahara Desert! Brilliantly restored with a wonderful new orchestral score, BEYOND THE ROCKS is ready for its close-up.
Cultural cliché holds that Swanson's acting was as garish as her makeup, and the legend of Valentino is awash in camp. Yet in this picture--however preposterously plotted by Elinor (It) Glyn--both deliver very natural performances of behavioral subtlety and discretion. Swanson, as the loving daughter of a retired officer (Alec B. Francis), is willing to do anything to ensure that Papa's twilight years be comfortable. That includes marrying a much older, vulgar businessman (Robert Bolder) as wealthy as he is unappealing. It's inconvenient that she's just fallen for a dashing nobleman (Valentino) who's saved her from (1) drowning and (2) falling off an Alp. Both these beautiful people struggle to behave honorably, right up through a final reel in which the unsympathetic husband takes them--and the audience--by surprise.
Now, we mustn't make overmuch of a good thing: Beyond the Rocks, ably but unexcitingly directed by Sam Wood, isn't a lost Murnau or the uncut Greed. But it's a very respectable movie, free of the excesses (except Swanson's increasingly florid costumes!) carelessly attributed to silent films in general; and as a long-delayed footnote to two legendary careers, its historical importance is considerable. The Nederlands Filmmuseum restoration is gloriously sharp (apart from a few spasms of almost impenetrable nitrate deterioration), and the new score by Henny Vrienten sounds more like Mark Isham than the organ-and-calliope accompaniment too many silents have suffered from. --Richard T. Jameson
The ultimate Swanson/Valentino film! Gloria is pushed into a marriage to an older friend of her father, but her love is for Rudy.....and why shouldn't it be? Read morePublished 5 months ago by John Livingston
I purchased this movie recently, and when Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino appeared on the screen for the first time,
it reminded me of the part I had read from Gloria's... Read more
YOU SHOULD BUY THIS MOVIE, IT SHOWS SWANSON AND VALENTINO AT THEIR BEST, I LOVED THIS SHOW FROM START TO FINISH, I WILL WATCH IT OVER AND OVER, IT'S THAT GOODPublished 11 months ago by Tracia Jo Fenstermacher
I love silent pictures and could not resist Valentino and Swanson together. Valentino has a charm all his own and would be as popular to-day as he was then. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Annette S. Urquhart
EXCELLENT STORY. SHOWS SWANSON AND VALENTINO AT THEIR BEST. SWANSON TRULY CORRECT WHEN SHE SAID BACK THEN, WE HAD FACES. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Barbara C.
I have seen some excerpt of the movie on You Tube and I can't wait to get the DVD so that I can see the movie in its entirety. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
I don't know the reason why I was waiting so long to buy this title..I'm an Italian Rodolfo's fan..but I've waited very long...maybe for I'm not a Gloria fan... Read morePublished on January 12, 2013 by malefica
I am very pleased this film was rediscovered in Holland. The original titles are missing and the foreign titles have been replaced with new. Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by Kevin T. Turner
This wonderful silent film with Rudolph Valentno and Gloria Swanson was lost until just recently. This is a very good film with beautiful performances from Valentino and Swanson. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by M. Brennan