Picture Play Magazine, August 1927
The Screen in Review
In Plaid and Tartan
By Norbert Lusk
There are kilts and bagpipes, glens, and castles, and a great deal of bloodshed in “Annie Laurie,” but it isn’t really Scottish, for all that. Nor is it more than mildly interesting, and it’s not at all sympathetic. Too bad, because Lillian Gish is lovely to look at in the quaint, voluminous costumes of the period, and her mood is lighter and less woeful than in most of her pictures. The film just doesn’t arouse any emotion.
The story is based on the ancient feud between the MacDonalds and the Campbells, and culminates in the Glencoe massacre, in which Annie Laurie, of course, shines forth as the heroine. Perilously she climbs a cliff to light the beacon which shall warn the clan of impending attack. Honestly, I can’t remember which clan it was—the MacDonalds or the Campbells—because the feud was so long drawn out, and Lillian and some of the other characters seemed to be on civil terms with both factions.
Norman Kerry is Ian MacDonald. “A Campbell for a MacDonald !” he shouts, as he poses on a high wall, about to hurl the body of Creighton Hale into space. That is the spirit of his role, and Mr. Kerry blusters through it, an actor who realizes that here is his opportunity to run wild and go over big with the girls. He also displays his chest in extreme decollete, and is not averse to doffing every stitch above the waist. This may all be typical of a he-man Scotsman, but it looked like pure Culver City to me. So was the picture.