Top positive review
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taut, emotional drama with lots of action and brilliant acting, too
on May 23, 2008
The Love Light is an excellent Mary Pickford vehicle that packs incredible amounts of action and adventure into the total running time of 89 minutes. This taut drama focuses on the life and times of Angela Carlotti (Mary Pickford) just before the First World War, during the war and thereafter. The acting is rather good although there are a few times when some of their "faces" are exaggerated; and the plot held my attention every step of the way. The music that goes along with the film could have been better but it doesn't truly lessen the value of the film.
When the action begins, Angela Carlotti is seen with her brothers Mario (Eddie Phillips) and Antonio (Jean De Briac). They tease the amorous Giovanni (Raymond Bloomer) who pines away for Angela even though she does not return his love. Unfortunately, war breaks out and Angela's two brothers go to serve much to Angela's chagrin.
At about the same time, Angela works at the local fishing village lighthouse and one morning as she returns home from her night shift she discovers a stranger who has somehow managed to save himself from the ocean; and he asks her to hide him because, as he tells her, he's an American deserter. What Angela doesn't know, however, is that this man Joseph (Fred Thomson) is actually an enemy German spy. By the time Angela finds out that Joseph is a fraud, they have been married and she has hidden him from the Italians in the village for much too long. Giovanni is off to war, too, while all this goes on.
Many questions remain: what will happen to Joseph when the villagers discover he's really a German spy? How will Angela cope with her newborn baby girl conceived during her brief secret marriage to Joseph? Maria, another woman in the village, wants a baby badly--will this cause any trouble? What about Angela's strife after she learns both of her brothers are dead from the war? And how does Mario, Angela's younger brother, really die? Does Mario die in the war or at some other time? No plot spoilers here, folks--you'll just have to watch the movie to find out!
I agree with reviewers who write that the blue tinting for the outdoors at night scenes is just too blue. You can barely see Mary Pickford on the screen! The print is rather good considering its age but that musical score really should be replaced--it made it somewhat more difficult at times to keep up with the action in some scenes.
The DVD has no extras but the film stands on its own very well.
The Love Light is a magnificent Mary Pickford film and it's great to see so many other talented actors play their roles so convincingly. I highly recommend this film for fans of Mary Pickford and silent movie buffs will enjoy this as well.