Doomsday (1928 film)

Last updated

Doomsday
Doomsday 1928 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rowland V. Lee
Written by
  • Julian Johnson (titles)
  • Donald W. Lee
Story by Doris Anderson
Based on Doomsday
by Warwick Deeping
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyHenry W. Gerrard
Edited byRobert Bassler
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • February 18, 1928 (1928-02-18)(USA)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Doomsday is a 1928 American romance drama silent film directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Florence Vidor and Gary Cooper. Written by Julian Johnson, Donald W. Lee, and Doris Anderson, based on the 1927 novel Doomsday by Warwick Deeping, the film is about a woman who marries a wealthy landowner to escape her life of poverty, leaving behind the handsome farmer she truly loves. Produced by Jesse L. Lasky, Rowland V. Lee, Hector Turnbull, and Adolph Zukor for Paramount Pictures, Doomsday was released on February 18, 1928 in the United States. [1]

Contents

Plot

In Sussex, England after the Great War, former aristocrat Mary Viner (Florence Vidor) and her father, retired sea captain Hesketh Viner (Charles A. Stevenson), live in a small humble cottage on Doomsday, a large and valuable farm property owned by a wealthy landlord named Percival Fream (Lawrence Grant). Mary is attracted to another tenant at Doomsday, Arnold Furze (Gary Cooper), a young ex-officer and farmer who works the land with pride as if it were his own. Soon she and Arnold fall in love, but she longs to escape her oppressive poverty.

Meanwhile, the self-made wealthy landlord Percival develops an attraction to Mary and hopes to marry the former aristocrat as evidence of his rising social status. One day middle-aged Percival makes his intentions known to Mary, who cannot resist his palatial home and the lifestyle he offers her. Despite her love for Arnold, she selfishly agrees to marry Percival. After the wedding, they leave Mary's infirm father in the care of a nurse and sail to the Continent and spend the next year living abroad. During that time, Percival gives her jewelry and expensive dresses, but does not give her the love she desires. He treats her as just another one of his belongings to display in front of his friends.

Eventually, Mary discovers that the lifestyle she chose has not brought her happiness and that her loveless marriage to Percival was a mistake. After she learns of her father's death, she asks Percival for an annulment. Left with no money and no place to live, Mary ends up at Arnold's cottage and humbly offers to work for him as a housekeeper. Still feeling betrayed by Mary's earlier rejection of their love, Arnold cautiously accepts her offer, but for the next six months, he treats her in an insensitive and overbearing manner. Gradually, their love is rekindled, Arnold atones for his harsh behavior, and the two once again find happiness in each other.

Cast

Production

The screenplay for the film is based on the 1927 novel Doomsday by Warwick Deeping. [2]

Critical response

Doomsday received poor reviews upon its theatrical release. In his review for the New York Times, Mordaunt Hall wrote that despite the "praiseworthy acting" of Florence Vidor, Gary Cooper and Lawrence Grant, the film was "somewhat lethargic, ineffectual and shallow" and "sadly lacking in dramatic tension". [3] Hall holds the director responsible for most of the film's shortcomings.

Only a few instances does Rowland V. Lee, the director, succeed in giving through his animated images a clear conception of the action; he relies invariably on the sub-titles to explain matters instead of using his camera. Incessent[ sic ] arguments with close-ups stressing fiery eyes and busy lips are not particularly absorbing ... Both the distressing and the supposedly cheerful episodes are contrived in a haphazard fashion. [3]

Hall concludes that Cooper's acting is "wonderfully natural" and gives the character "an ingratiating personality". Vidor is "equally competent" in her performance, but is undermined by Lee's "unimaginative direction". [3]

Related Research Articles

<i>The Crowd</i> (1928 film) 1928 film

The Crowd is a 1928 American silent romance film directed by King Vidor and starring James Murray, Eleanor Boardman and Bert Roach. The feature film was nominated at the very first Academy Award presentation in 1929, for several awards, including Unique and Artistic Production for MGM and Best Director for Vidor.

<i>Roderick Hudson</i>

Roderick Hudson is a novel by Henry James. Originally published in 1875 as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly, it is a bildungsroman that traces the development of the title character, a sculptor.

Rowland V. Lee Film director

Rowland Vance Lee was an American film director, actor, writer, and producer.

Florence Vidor American actress

Florence Vidor was an American silent film actress.

<i>Children of Divorce</i> (1927 film) 1927 film

Children of Divorce is a 1927 American silent romantic drama film directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Clara Bow, Esther Ralston, and Gary Cooper. Adapted from the 1927 novel of the same name by Owen Johnson, and written by Louis D. Lighton, Hope Loring, Alfred Hustwick, and Adela Rogers St. Johns, the film is about a young flapper who tricks her wealthy friend into marrying her during a night of drunken revelry. Even though she knows that he is in love with another woman, she refuses to grant him a divorce and repeat the mistake of her divorced parents. Produced by Jesse L. Lasky, E. Lloyd Sheldon, and Adolph Zukor for the Famous Players-Lasky, the film was released on April 25, 1927 by Paramount Pictures.

<i>Doomsday</i> (novel)

Doomsday is a novel by Warwick Deeping which was published in 1927.

<i>Possessed</i> (1931 film) 1931 American film by Clarence Brown

Possessed is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by Clarence Brown, starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film is the story of Marian Martin, a factory worker who rises to the top as the mistress of a wealthy attorney. The screenplay by Lenore J. Coffee was adapted from the 1920 Broadway play The Mirage by Edgar Selwyn. Possessed was the third of eight movie collaborations between Crawford and Gable.

<i>Son of the Gods</i> 1930 film

Son of the Gods is a 1930 American pre-Code romantic drama film with Technicolor sequences, produced and released by First National Pictures, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Rex Beach. Richard Barthelmess and Constance Bennett star as a couple in love who have a falling out when she discovers that, though he looks Caucasian, he is actually Chinese.

<i>A Farewell to Arms</i> (1932 film) 1932 film

A Farewell to Arms is a 1932 American pre-Code romance drama film directed by Frank Borzage and starring Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, and Adolphe Menjou. Based on the 1929 semi-autobiographical novel A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, with a screenplay by Oliver H. P. Garrett and Benjamin Glazer, the film is about a tragic romantic love affair between an American ambulance driver and an English nurse in Italy during World War I. The film received Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound, and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Art Direction.

<i>The Legion of the Condemned</i> 1928 film

The Legion of the Condemned is a 1928 American silent film directed by William A. Wellman and produced by Jesse L. Lasky, Wellman, and Adolph Zukor and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Written by former World War I flight instructor John Monk Saunders and Jean de Limur, with intertitles by George Marion, Jr., the film stars Fay Wray and Gary Cooper.

<i>The Wedding Night</i> 1935 American romantic film by King Vidor

The Wedding Night is a 1935 American romantic drama film directed by King Vidor and starring Gary Cooper and Anna Sten. Written by Edith Fitzgerald and based on a story by Edwin H. Knopf, the film is about a financially strapped novelist who returns to his country home in Connecticut looking for inspiration for his next novel and becomes involved with a beautiful young Polish woman and her family. The film was produced by Samuel Goldwyn and filmed at Samuel Goldwyn Studios from early November to early December 1934. It was released in the United States on March 8, 1935.

<i>Man of the World</i> (film) 1931 film

Man of the World is a 1931 American pre-Code romantic drama directed by Richard Wallace and starring William Powell, Carole Lombard, and Wynne Gibson.

<i>Drums of Love</i> 1928 film

Drums of Love (1928) is a silent romance film directed by D. W. Griffith.

<i>The First Kiss</i> (1928 American film) 1928 film

The First Kiss is a 1928 American silent romantic drama film directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Fay Wray and Gary Cooper. Based on the short story Four Brothers by Tristram Tupper, the film is about a Chesapeake Bay fisherman who turns to pirating in order to be rich enough to marry a society girl.

<i>Manhattan</i> (1924 film) 1924 film by Robert Hubberthorne Burnside

Manhattan is a 1924 American silent romantic adventure film directed by R. H. Burnside featuring Richard Dix in his first starring role. A wealthy New Yorker falls in love with a burglar's sister.

<i>A Man from Wyoming</i> 1930 film

A Man from Wyoming is a 1930 American Pre-Code war romance film directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Gary Cooper, June Collyer, and Regis Toomey. Written by Albert S. Le Vino and John V.A. Weaver, the film is about a man from Wyoming who enlists in the Army and is sent to the front during World War I. There he saves the life of an American society girl working in the Ambulance Corps. Afterwards at a rest camp, they meet again, fall in love, and are secretly married.

<i>The Texan</i> (1930 film) 1930 film

The Texan is a 1930 American Western film directed by John Cromwell and starring Gary Cooper and Fay Wray. Based on the short story "The Double-Dyed Deceiver" by O. Henry, the film is about a daring bandit called the Llano Kid who shoots a young gambler in self-defense and is forced to hide from the law. He is helped by a corrupt lawyer who involves the bandit in a scheme to swindle a Mexican aristocrat whose son turns out to be the young gambler killed by the Llano Kid. The screenplay was written by Daniel Nathan Rubin, and the story was adapted for the screen by Oliver H.P. Garrett and Victor Milner. Produced by Hector Turnbull for Paramount Pictures, The Texan was released in the United States on May 10, 1930. The film received positive reviews upon its theatrical release.

<i>The Bravest Way</i> 1918 film by George Melford

The Bravest Way is a 1918 American silent drama film directed by George Melford and written by Edith M. Kennedy. The film stars Sessue Hayakawa, Florence Vidor, Tsuru Aoki, Yukio Aoyama, Jane Wolfe, and Winter Hall. The film was released on June 16, 1918, by Paramount Pictures.

<i>Such Men Are Dangerous</i> 1930 film

Such Men Are Dangerous is a 1930 American pre-Code drama film directed by Kenneth Hawks and written by Ernest Vajda. The film is based on a novella by Elinor Glyn who based her story on the 1928 real-life disappearance of Belgian Banker Alfred Loewenstein who vanished on a flight over the English Channel. Such Men Are Dangerous stars Warner Baxter, Catherine Dale Owen, Hedda Hopper, Claud Allister, Albert Conti and Bela Lugosi. Shortly after a midair collision killed 10 crew members in the "worst air accident in film history", Such Men Are Dangerous was released on March 9, 1930, by Fox Film Corporation.

<i>Christine of the Hungry Heart</i> 1924 film by George Archainbaud

Christine of the Hungry Heart is a 1924 American silent drama film directed by George Archainbaud and starring Florence Vidor. It was produced by Thomas H. Ince and released through First National Pictures.

References

  1. "Doomsday (1928)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  2. "Doomsday (1928): Screenplay Info". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Hall, Mordaunt (April 2, 1928). "Post-War Adventures. Love on a Farm. Other Photoplays". The New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014.