Starring Enid Bennett, Ramon Novarro and Wallace Beery
August 9, 1924

It is difficult to understand how a director of Mr. Niblo's ability could ever imagine that "The Red Lily," a story of which he is the author, was a story fit for a motion picture. Not only is there not a single sympathetic character in it, but the two principal characters, whom he meant to pass as hero and heroine, perform acts that are revolting to normal people. The hero becomes a crook, and the heroine a prostitute - in France and in every country in Europe there are dance halls employing women, w hose business is to entice men to drink and to lure them for immoral purposes. The heroine of this story is shown as having been employed by just such a dance hall, and for he same purpose. The hero does not become a crook because some one held him under his power; he turns into one simply by his weakness of character. Such a lack of character naturally disqualifies one for he honors of a hero. But, what adds insult to injury is when he, a crook, upbraids and scorns the heroine, because she had degraded herself. The one act, however, which brands him as the most villainous of villains is when he pushes the heroine into the hands of a bully for him to do as he pleased with her. Revolting is too mild a word with which to characterize such an act.

A young Frenchman (hero) and a young French girl (heroine), living in Brittany, love each other. But the hero's father, mayor of the town, objects to his son's marrying a girl of mean birth and poor. The hero takes the heroine to Paris for the purpose of marrying her, At the station in Paris the hero leaves the heroine to go in search of a priest., But detectives, sent by his father, arrest him and board the train. The heroine, no knowing that the hero was arrested, awaits in vain, until she finally is forced to give up hope. The hero escapes the detectives and returns to Paris, but is unable to find the heroine, and so he joins a crook who had befriended him, and becomes a crook himself. The heroine is compelled to give up one job after another because her masters made her insulting advances, until she is compelled to obtain a position in a dance hall. Months later, hero and heroine meet. The hero, realizing that she is no longer the pure girl he loved, scorns her; she still loves him. Toward the end, however, hero and heroine marry.

The direction and acting are very good, but the picture is unfit for the family circle.

Starring Enid Bennett, Ramon Novarro and Wallace Beery
August 23, 1924

"The Red Lily" is not, as you might be misled into thinking, a film version of Anatole France's famous novel, but an original story by Fred Niblo, who directed it. He may well be proud of his work; the story is gripping throughout and is presented in a thoroughly finished manner. The only outstanding flaw of the production is an occasional disconcerting jump in the continuity, due to the length of time covered by the story.

As for the plot itself - if you're looking for a bright evening's entertainment, don't pick "The Red Lily"! It's artistic, it's thrilling in spots, but no one could possibly call it cheerful. Ramon Novarro, the hero, becomes, through circumstances, a thief; the heroine, Enid Bennett, turns prostitute. Of course they both reform in the end and after carrying her in his heart for years, he at last finds her - a prostitute. Of course he's only a criminal himself and therefore has a right to be particular!

Enid Bennett is the surprise of the picture. Her acting is exquisite.

Starring Enid Bennett, Ramon Novarro and Wallace Beery
October 1924

A mucky and sordid tale is this, moving through the dregs and very sewers of Paris. "The Red Lily" has a certain degree of atmosphere and effectiveness but it may offend your sensibilities and it most certainly is not a family picture. Still, Fred Niblo has directed his own story in a workmanlike way and Ramon Novarro gives his best performance thus far as Jean.

For more information, see "The Red Lily" as our "Featurre of the Month"

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