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The Film Daily (03/Apr/1921) - The Great Day




First British-Made Picture Doesn't Meet Expectations


This is the second Hugh Ford production released by Paramount, but the first of the British-made Famous Players-Lasky productions. "The Great Day" falls way short of being a great picture, and the adaptation of the Drury Lane melodrama is just barely fair entertainment. The story development is logical and well enough done, but there is no dramatic force. The various situations are introduced and concluded in the same tone. There is no variation and even the climax is reached without any tensity of action.

The spectator is treated to a new atmosphere in the exterior settings found in "The Great Day." There are a number of picturesque bits of English country, furnishing backgrounds for the action, and a short sequence taking place in the Alps looks realistic. The director has given good attention to technical matters, but the picture lacks "punch," or the sort of thing that puts a picture over — makes an impression. The players, too, are at fault for not making the bigger scenes stand out. They don't vary their emotions or actions in accord with the moment.

Arthur Bourchier is not an impressive Sir John Borstwick, nor does Bertram Burleigh make the most of the inventor who marries Borstwick's daughter against the latter's wishes. May Palfrey's appearance as the daughter is limited to few scenes. The others aren't important. "The Great Day" isn't likely to bore anyone to any extent for it has already been cut to less than four reels.

Frank Beresford and Clara Borstwick are married against the wishes of her father, Sir John. Immediately following the marriage, Lillian Leeson, to whom Frank had formerly been married, appears on the scene with intent to blackmail. Frank had told Clara of the former marriage, but really believed Lillian dead-Frank is called to Paris to identify a former pal whom he believed dead and who was formerly the husband of Lillian. Frank recognizes Dave Leeson and they return to England. Dave frustrates the plans of Lillian to spoil Frank's happiness, and there follows a reconciliation.

There is more to the story, but it isn't definite enough to include. A sequence has something to do with some Bolshevik-looking characters and with names to match, who try to entangle Frank in some sort of "phony" business.