San Pedro News Pilot, Volume 13, Number 234, 30 June 1926
Movie – Grams
Lillian Gish Has Tragic Role of Mimi in Cabrillo Picture, “La Boheme”
“La Boheme,” Lillian Gish’s first American made picture in some years, is the attraction at the Cabrillo today and for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The much heralded play, in which Miss Gish is seen in the tragic role of Mimi famous wherever opera is loved, is one of the- outstanding productions of the year, and Miss Gish’s interpretation of the Mimi role has created a furor in studio circles. “La Boheme” was adapted not from the play, but from the book by Henri Murger, entitled “Life In the Latin Quarter,” and the story deals with the impecunious artists and writers of Paris art quarter, where, they live in cheap rooming houses. Rodolphe, a poet, and Mimi, a seamstress, live among these people. Rodolphe sees the girl and is struck by her fragile beauty.
He and his Bohemian friends learn that, unable to pay her rent, she is about to be evicted and they come to her rescue and make her one of them. Her gratitude to them all, and especially Rodolphe, develops into a beautiful idyllic love between the two. Time passes, Rodolphe, eking out a meager living writing for a newspaper, works on a play, inspired by Mimi. Mimi carries his articles to the newspaper, to find that they are too late, and Rodolphe is discharged. Fearing that this news will mark his play, she secretly sews at night, and continues taking his newspaper articles to the paper, but really paying him out of her own secret earnings. Meanwhile Paul, a cynical boulevardier, attracted by Mimi, brings her sewing to do, and in his infatuation is induced by the girl to take Rodolphe’s play to a friend of his, a manager of a theatre.
Paul takes her with him, in clothes she borrowed from Musette, a friend, to the theatre. Meantime Rodolphe discovers the deception she has worked on him in regards to the newspaper articles, and goes to her room, where he sees her borrowed finery. His jealousy and suspicion flares up and the girl is deeply hurt. A coughing spell, that had been becoming worse of late, assails her and Rodolphe runs for a doctor. He returns, to find her gone, leaving a pathetic note of farewell. Months pass—his play is a great success, and he and his Bohemian friends roll in prosperity, but he can think only of his lost Mimi. Finally, at the crest of his success she returns to his arms to die. She passes, breathing vows of love for him, and leaves him with great sorrow in life as she breathes her last. The story is full of pathos and heart throbs, and of great dramatic power.