starring John Barrymore and Mary Astor
September, 1926

This production is a far hail from "The Sea Beast." It presents the romantic, profiled John Barrymore. And it places him in the years to which he so utterly belongs. The story is laid in the days of the Borgias and one intrigue after another builds a plot mighty with suspense.

Of course, Barrymore in the titular role has many amorous adventures. And not the least of these is with Lucrezia Borgia.

Nothing flavored with high romance is omitted. There is a two-sword duel which Barrymore fights with the daring and enchantment for which we have always adored him. he is all that we have come to expect him to be.

Praise should be given Estelle Taylor who plays Lucrezia Borgia. She is a fascinating actress. Mary Astor is a fragile and beautiful heroine. Willard Louis offers delicious comedy. And Montague Love is also excellent.

Alan Crosland has done splendidly with the direction.

starring John Barrymore and Mary Astor
October, 1926

Hey, Mr. Fairbanks, come home quick! John Barrymore is stealing your stuff. He climbs balconies, he rides horses, he fights duels and he makes hot, hot love. Here is a young feller who is determined to live down his dark past as a Shakespearean actor. And here is an actor who is more than just a star; for you cannot tell this reviewer that Barrymore didn't have an active hand in producing this film.

"Don Juan" is a lively burlesque of "The Great Lover" of legend. This boy is so mean with women that the girls won't let him alone. As soon as he sights a good girl, however, he reforms. You can't blame him; good girls were a novelty in Renaissance Italy. In the course of enacting the adventures of the wicked Spaniard, Barrymore gives us Jekyll-and-Hyde, Don Q, Zorro, Hamlet and Beau Brummel. His is such a boundless talent that he can afford to be profligate. He acts with abandon that will arouse the disapproval of the School of Eyebrow Lifters.

The whole production has a lavish beauty. Surely never were so many beautiful girls assembled in one cast. Estelle Taylor gives one of the great performances of the year as Lucrezia Borgia.
Montagu Love and Warner Oland are a couple of sinister heroes, while Mary Astor is the girl whose glance has the purifying effect.

Here is a picture that has great acting, thrilling melodrama and real beauty. Anyone taking a child to "Don Juan" is nothing but a silly.

With the Vitaphone, a real film event.

starring John Barrymore and Mary Astor
November, 1926

Beauty and the box office are wedded in John Barrymore's "Don Juan." The ceremony is invested with magnificence and pulsing reality. You should see it at all costs, for the combination is rare on the screen.

"Don Juan" has the splendor of pageantry, the richness of old paintings come to life, and to prove that it is not a highbrow picture despite its appeal to the imagination, the film flings forth the excitement of a serial in galloping to a climax.

Barrymore's exploits rival those of Douglas Fairbanks in his escape from his enemies, when he snatches Mary Astor from a tree where he had left her while he placed nine men hors de combat, and bears her away on his steed full into the setting sun behind which, presumably, are peace and quiet.

It seems to me that Bess Meredyth has evolved a good story to center around the legendary Don Juan, one that is essentially of the screen and therefore challenges no literary comparisons, and that it has been nicely pointed off by the titles of Walter Anthony and Maude Fulton, while the direction of Alan Crtosland reveals imagination, authority and sound sense of screen values.

Don Jose, in the prologue, is the suspicious husband of a beautiful wife who betrays him for no better cause than John Roche. Whereupon Jose loses faith in womankind and instills in his young son the code of the rake and libertine.

The son grown up becomes Don Juan of many intrigues - cynical, humorous, irresistible - and it is his adventures as a amorist that the picture is built upon. Pitted against his wits are those of the infamous Lucrezia Borgia, her brother, Cesare, and their henchman, Donati. Sixteenth-century Rome is theirs to do with as they please, and their pleasure is poison, imprisonment, torture for those who oppose them. Furthermore, Lucrezia is a woman scorned by Don Juan, and you know what that means in a costume picture.

Estelle Taylor as the Borgia is seductive rather than sinister, more beautiful than baleful, but effective always; and Barrymore in the wide range afforded him by a role which begins with Don Jose in the prologue and shows Juan's growth from a gay philanderer to a flaming figure of romantic love is, as you already know, magnificent. It is a performance touched with glory and charged with surpassing skill.

Mary Astor, Warner Oland, Montagu Love, Nigel de Brulier are vital and real, and the same may be said of all the ladies who capture Juan's passing fancy - Phyllis Haver, June Marlowe, Jane Winton, Hedda Hopper; and the poetic little Phillipe de Lacy might have stepped out of the Middle Ages. Even the Morgan Dancers give a medieval touch instead of a Hollywood splash.

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