Monday, September 17, 2007

The Young Rajah

Finally remembering about TCM's Silent Movie Sundays, I tuned in to check out the week's offerings. The film stars the famous silent film actor Rudolph Valentino.

To be honest they did the best they could do with what was surviving. The film had been almost completely destroyed over the decades, with about 35 minutes of the film totally surviving. Most of this footage is from the end of the film, so the first part is made up of stills, pictures, modern constructed pictures (generally close ups of letters and other material of the sort), and helpful bridging material. I was tempted to turn off the film early on, if only because of the challenge to watch something like this so late at night.

The story centers around Amos Judd (played by Valentino), an adopted son who was originally from (if I remember correctly) India. He turns out to be the ancestor of Arjuna, the hero of the Bhagavad Ghita. He has the misterious ability to look into the future. Living in America, Amos falls in love with Molly Cabot, unfortunately for him she doesn't return the favor due to her biased attitudes (though the father surprisingly approves).

The film covers a great many issues that would have been very taboo for the time. Interracial marriage, and the belief that one should be judged by their thought or character and not because of the color of their skin. I think I've heard that someplace before...


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