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Motion Picture News (03/Apr/1926) - The Blackguard



The Blackguard

(Lee-Bradford—6937 Feet)

(Reviewed by George T. Pardy)

A TRIFLE slow in getting started, but once this picture striker-its gait it maintains fast action to the finish and provides virile entertainment. The early sequences are devoted to showing the formation of the young hero's character and the influence upon him of a hallucination caused by an injury to his head, whereby he is dominated by a vision of a music-god, Maliol, who promises him success as a violinist, so long as he confines his affections to his art. He really wins through hard work, but the Maliol idea rules him so sternly that the woman he loves, Princess Marie, is led to share his belief. The big thrills come during the revolution, when he risks all to save Marie, and the mob scenes, the fight with Levenski and escape from the burning palace are staged with tremendous spectacular effect. Jane Novak and Walter Rilla do excellent work in the leading roles and are well supported. Photography A-1.

THEME. Melodrama. Young violinist saves woman he loves in Russian revolution. Badly injured, he sacrifices his art but finds his reward in her affection.

PRODUCTION HIGHLIGHTS. The spectacular mob scenes, burning of the palace, hero's fight with Levenski, his escape from flames. Sustained melodramatic action, romance development. Work of leads and support. Episode where lovers are reunited.

DRAWING POWER. Suitable for neighborhood, smaller houses and towns.

SUMMARY. Has general audience appeal. Puts over some big melo punches. Settings attractive, mob scenes in Russian revolution remarkably well handled. Piles up pathos and heart interest. Well directed and acted.

SYNOPSIS. Michael Caviol, violinist, sees visions in which he is dominated by a god-like creature, Maliol, who promises him success so long as he loves nothing but his art. He becomes famous but shuns the love of woman until he loses his heart to Russian princess Marie Idourska. The Revolution breaks. Michael finds the leader to be Adrian Levenski, his former music master. He obtains two passports from Levenski and effects Marie's escape. Levenski and Michael fight and latter is thrown into flaming building, escaping badly burned. While praying in a church Marie enters and kneels beside him, no longer a princess but his love.