Tuesday, 15 May 2012

are you sitting comfortably


Yesterday's short trip through the career of an actor who once played someone called Martin as if if he were a Martian led me to various movie synopses. They are all spoiler, but if you can resist them, you're a better man than I am. First up is The Lone Wolf's Daughter (1919):

Princess Sonia (played by Glaum) and her husband, Russian nobleman Prince Victor (played by Stevens), are at an auction. She is bidding against him in an effort to obtain a Corot landscape that has incriminating letters she wrote hidden inside.
 - Not because it is a Corot. Who wants a Corot?

The painting is purchased by Michael Lanyard (played by Grassby), who is suspected of being the mysterious international thief the "Lone Wolf".
- Actually Michael Lanyard isn't the Lone Wolf. How do I know? How do you think.

Lanyard gives the letters to Princess Sonia. She then divorces Prince Victor and marries Lanyard.
- I once married someone who gave me some letters. It didn't work out. You need a stronger base.

With malevolent hatred, Victor threatens to follow Lanyard "to the very gates of Hell." Lanyard replies, "If you do, then I'll push you inside."
- Logically, I think this should be 'pull'. Or maybe 'pull you past me so you go inside while I stay outside.'

Princess Sonia dies after giving birth to their daughter, Sonia. Lanyard is unaware that he has a daughter.
- It was less common for fathers to be at the bedside of birthing mothers then. And if the mother died, no one told the father anything about any children. It was traditional.
 
Years later, Sonia (also played by Glaum) has grown up not knowing of her parentage or past. She thinks she is the daughter of Princess Sonia's maid.
- I know how she feels.

Sonia is found by Prince Victor, who is now the leader of an underworld gang of Oriental criminals and Bolsheviks.
- Natural bedfellows.

Telling her that he is her father, he brings her to his home in the hope it will entice Lanyard to make an appearance. She falls in love with Roger Karslake (played by Holding), who is Victor's secretary.
- She seems flighty. I don't trust her.

When Sonia learns of the gang's diabolical plan to have poisonous gas pumped into the Houses of Parliament, the homes of Downing Street and of the nobility, even Buckingham Palace, in order to clear the way for Victor to become England's dictator, she tells Karslake.
- This is a diabolical plan. It is not this easy to become England's dictator. You can kill loads and loads of people and still no one will be dictated over by the leader of a gang of Bolsheviks. Bulldog spirit, you know.

Unbeknownst to Sonia or the gang, Lanyard has actually been working in the household, posing as Victor's Oriental butler
- I can see this looking, a hundred years later, less than PC.
 
, and he and Karslake are both Scotland Yard agents. Lanyard learns that she is, in fact, his daughter. Following Sonia's recognition of her father, the Lone Wolf,
- She can't possibly recognise him. She has literally never seen him outside racist fancy dress. Oh. Wait. Maybe he de-racists and they are spitting images of each other? In which case: unlucky for Karslake.

he and Karslake capture the gang amidst a blazing house fire and a huge fight. Victor makes his way to the roof pursued by Lanyard, who shoves the evil prince down into the flames.
- Being serious for a moment: doesn't this sound smashing?


(The picture is from The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, a 1939 remake. They basically remade the film every ten years. Although the synopsis for TLWSH is very different.)

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