Sisters Gish Make This One Night Perfect – By Mae Tinee (Chicago Tribune – 1925)

Chicago Tribune – Tuesday, April 7, 1925 – Page 25

Sisters Gish Make This One Night Perfect

“Romola” Fine Picture in Every Possible Way

Produced by Inspiration Pictures

Directed by Henry King

Presented at the Roosevelt theater

Lillian Gish - Romola
Dorothy Gish, Ronald Colman, Lillian Gish – Romola

The Cast:

  • Romola ………………………….. Lillian Gish
  • Tessa …………………..……… Dorothy Gish
  • Tito Melema ………… William H. Powell
  • Carlo Bucellini ………..… Ronald Colman
  • Baldassarre Calvo …………. Charles Lane
  • Savonarola …………. Herbert Grimwood
  • Bardo Bardi ………. Bonaventura Ibanez
  • Adolfo Spini …………….……. Frank Puglia

By Mae Tinee

Good Morning! Romola – George Eliot’s “Romola” is revealing her dramatic story at the Roosevelt through the gentle characterization of Miss Lillian Gish.

Lillian Gish Inspiration Pictures Promotional session Romola 4
Lillian Gish Inspiration Pictures Promotional session Romola

This production, sponsored by Mr. Duell before his famous scrap with the fair star, is a truly artistic offering. It’s authentic as to sets and scenery, having been photographed in and around Florence, Italy, where the scenes of the story were laid. It is richly costumed and vividly acted and there is about the intangible atmosphere of romance, intrigue and bloodshed that hung heavy over Florence in the fifteenth century at the time when people drove the decadent Medici from power and established their own government.

Romola 1924 - scene from film - Lillian Gish
Romola 1924 – scene from film – Lillian Gish

Romola was the daughter of a rich, gentle and blind philosopher and writer. Completely devoted to her father and his works, life had flowed along peacefully enough in the house of Bardi until the mysterious stranger, Tito Melema, slid in to win the favor with the parent nad marry the daughter. Happily, the father died before he realized the treachery with which the Greek encompassed the household. But Romola lived on to go through horrible experiences, both politic and private.

Lillian Gish and William Powell - Romola (Wedding Scene)1
Lillian Gish and William Powell – Romola (Wedding Scene)1

Miss Gish gives a delicate and charming portrayal of Romola – more saint than human.

William H. Powell as Tito, acts a smooth and crafty villain to this department’s taste.

Dorothy Gish, as a simple country maid, also betrayed by the dexterous Tito, gives one of her funny, pathetic, adorable characterizations. Ronald Colman suits well the role of the noble and picturesque artist, Carlo, who truly loves Romola and whose devotion, you are led to believe is rewarded in the end.

Lillian Gish - Romola
Lillian Gish – Romola

Considerable footage is given to the activities of Savonarola, the advocate of freedom, whose heated speeches in the public squares incite the mobs to action – action that is at last turned toward the destruction of himself. Herbert Grimwood makes a gaunt, tense, fevered evangelist.

As to that – all the parts are well played. The photography is fine and the director handled his subject matter intelligently.

If you liked the book, chances are you’ll be fond of the picture.

See you tomorrow!

Romola - Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish
Romola – Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish and director Henry King - Romola candid on set
Lillian Gish and director Henry King – Romola candid on set

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