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Her Night of Romance (as part of the Constance Talmadge Collection) (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

March 30, 2010 by  



Many films starring Constance Talmadge may be lost but fortunately KINO International has brought two of her silent films on DVD via the Constance Talmadge Collection.  “Her Night of Romance” is an enjoyable and very fun romantic comedy.  Definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2010 Kino Intl., Corp. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Her Night of Romance (as part of the Constance Talmadge Collection)

DURATION: 85 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 1:33:1, Black and White, English Intertitles

COMPANY: Kino International

RATED: NOT RATED

RELEASE DATE: March 2010

Directed by Sidney Franklin

Written by Hanns Kraly

Cinematography by Ray Binger, Victor Milner

Edited by Hal C. Kern

Starring:

Constance Talmadge as Dorothy Adams

Ronald Colman as Paul Menford

Jean Hersholt as Joe Diamond

Albert Gran as Samuel C. Adams

Robert Rendel as Prince George

Sidney Bracey as Butler

Joseph J. Dowling as Professor Greg

While elder sister Norma devoted herself to tear-stained romance and tragedy, Constance Talmadge carved out her own reputation in a series of bubbly, Lubitsch-flavored comedies. Often appearing as the “virtuous vamp,” (a mesmerizing beauty who could be naughty yet nice), Constance had looks and comic timing that are as modern today as they were eighty years ago.

In HER NIGHT OF ROMANCE, an heiress traveling in England disguises herself to discourage fortune-hunters.  She falls in love with a handsome nobleman (Ronald Colman) who is secretly impoverished.  When they spend a night alone at his former estate, they are forced to pretend that they are married, a situation that threatens to unravel their storybook romance just as it is getting started.

The Talmadge sisters: Norma, Constance and Natalie.  Three women who were known for their work in the 1910-1929 and also for their personal lives as Norma was married to millionaire producer Joseph Schenk, Natalie who was briefly married to silent film superstar Natalie while Constance was married to John Pialoglu (in a double wedding along with Dorothy Gish and James Rennie) and three other men.

But Constance Talmadge was known as the blonde Talmadge, known for her work with D.W. Griffith especially for the 1916 film “Intolerance” and from 1914 through 1929, in her 15-year movie career, Constance had made over 80 silent films.

But unfortunately, many of her films are lost.  Fortunately, KINO International has released “The Constance Talmadge Collection” (as well as “The Nora Talmadge Collection”) containing her 1924 film “Her Night of Romance” and her 1925 film “Her Sister from Paris” which are her later silent films.

“Her Night of Romance” is a film about the Adams family.  Samuel C. Adams (played by Albert Gran) is a multi-millionaire and his daughter Dorothy (played by Constance Talmadge) who are traveling to England to see a specialist for his daughter’s heart trouble.

Dorothy knows that their arrival is going to be printed in newspapers and that all these men will be going after to her for her money, so she tries her best to look as unattractive on photos as possible.

While leaving from her ship, she accidentally trips and falls, but is caught by Paul Menford (played by Ronald Colman).  Immediately the two are smitten with each other but what chances will they ever see each other again?

Meanwhile, we learn that Paul is actually a lord, but an impoverished British lord who is planning to sell his manor.  Meanwhile, his agent is responsible for selling his estate and wanting to sell it to the rich Samuel Adams.  And his agent tells Paul that if he can arrange for him to marry Samuel’s daughter Dorothy, he will need to pay him 10% of all money he gets from Dorothy.

Of course, Paul who needs money is cool with that and as he is leaving, Samuel Adam’s driver assistant needs to find a heart specialist (which Paul’s uncle does for a living) but somehow, Paul is mistaken as the doctor and brought to the Adam’s hotel.  Immediately, Paul is sent to check out Dorothy’s heart but he has no idea how to do such a thing.  When he sees the patient, he finds out that Dorothy is the woman who tripped and caught.  Immediately, the two are smitten with each other once again and both are happy to be at each other’s company.

When Paul leaves the Adam’s residence, he runs into his agent who thinks that Paul is preparing himself for marriage to Dorothy and thus, the agent comes up with plans for he and Paul to make money not only from selling the home but also marrying Dorothy.

We then see how the two begin to get closer and closer and enjoying each other’s time with one another.  Samuel Adams is actually happy because his daughter has never showed so much life and enthusiasm until she met the doctor.

But for Paul, he can’t go on with this charade of playing a doctor.  He has feelings for Dorothy, he doesn’t want to marry her for money since he cares for her.  So, he sends her a letter and does not intend to see her ever again.

With Dorothy quite distressed, she leaves the hotel and goes to the Menford Manor (she is unaware that Paul once owned the manor) that her father just bought.  Meanwhile, after getting drunk, Paul is unaware that his property has been sold and sneaks into his old home.

The two see each other once again but to make things worse, everyone including Paul’s friends and workers come to visit, especially Dorothy’s father who are wondering why Paul and Dorothy are together alone at the manor.  So, Paul makes up a story that the two are getting married and now the two must pretend that they are a married couple.

Can the two continue this charade?  Will Paul and Dorothy find love and will the truth that the two are not married come out?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Her Night of Romance” is presented in black and white (1:33:1).  The print quality is good but not perfect.   Considering that this film is nearly 90-years-old, the print shows some wear with scratches and dust along with interlacing.  But for those who have watched silent films, this is something you see (unless the film has received major restoration which is expensive).  The only thing you can hope for is that there are no signs of major degradation.

But there is a scene or two with major warping.  About three quarters into the film, there are two scenes with major warping which lasts about 10 or more seconds each.  They are short but this is the only time this happens.

For the most part, I’m quite happy by the fact that we are getting these films of Constance Talmadge and although the picture quality is not magnificent, “Her Night of Romance” holds up well for a film that was released back in 1924.

AUDIO & INTERTITLES:

“Her Night of Romance” features music composed and performed by Bruce Loeb.  The music matches the film quite well and music is clear and heard well through the center channel.  I preferred to listen to the soundtrack via stereo on all channels but music is clear.

Intertitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are no special features included on this DVD but the two silent films.

I don’t have many Constance Talmadge silent films in my collection, so I’m actually quite grateful to KINO International for releasing two DVD’s for both Constance and Norma Talmadge.

“Her Night of Romance” is a fun, charming and very enjoyable film in which both Ronald Colman and Constance Talmadge have great chemistry together onscreen.  Constance Talmadge plays the role of Dorothy quite well.  You can’t help but be enamored by her beauty and those beautiful eyes, while Ronald Colman is simply fine at slapstick humor.

For those looking for an enjoyable and satisfying silent comedy, “Her Night of Romance” is a fine addition to your collection.  And remember that you do get a second Constance Talmadge film with “Her Sister from Paris” included as well.   So, although there are no special features on this DVD, I’m glad that KINO added a second film to this collection.

Again, the DVD is not the greatest in picture quality but considering the age of this film, it’s better than most public domain silents that I have seen and it is very watchable although two short scenes does show sign of major degradation.

But overall, “Her Night of Romance” was an enjoyable romantic comedy film that made me laugh and made me feel happy that I had the opportunity to watch a Constance Talmadge film.  I can only hope that KINO International releases more films in the near future of this popular silent film actress (as well as more films from her other sisters as well).

This DVD is definitely recommended!






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