starring Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky
January, 1926

Rudolph Valentino changes his personality three times in his new picture, and each one is dashing and fascinating and very Valentino. First, he is a young lieutenant of the Czarina's regiment, brave and handsome and desired of Catherine. When he deserts because he objects to "boudoir service," young Dubrovsky becomes a bandit, the Black Eagle, seeking to avenge a wrong done his father.

Next we see Rudy impersonatng a French tutor in the house of his enemy, teaching the enemy's beautiful daughter. Dubrovsky falls in love. Shall he break his oath of vengeance?

The story really begins when Dubrovsky becomes the Black Eagle. The finish is weak and the characters not well drawn. Vilma Banky is Sam Goldwyn's gift to the screen. You will like Rudy and Vilma and the picture, in spite of its faults.

starring Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky
February, 1926

Rudolph Valentino after a short absence, returns to the screen in "The Eagle." He has evidently dtermined to treat himself to the best this time, for he is directed by Clarence Brown, who superintended the making of "The Goose Woman," and he is supported by Vilma Banky and Louise Dresser.

With these advantages, it is only natural to expect "The Eagle" to be an intelligent, pleasant and finished picture, and it is just that and nothing more. Only the very greedy could ask for more, and I am sure that almost everyone will be pretty well satisfied with what Mr. Valentino has chosen to serve, bu for some strange reason, the spark that brightened his first picture, "The Four Horsemen," has never flared up in anything that he has done since then.

Just what has died in his acting is hard to say. He seems to try conscientiously to revive it, whatever it is, but he lacks vitality. Of course, I'm not one that believes tha actors burst into being overnight, and it may be that his sudden and victorious debut in "The Four Horsement" was a pure bit of luck. However, "The Eagle" is by all means the best of his pictures since.

The story is of the love affair of a lieutenant of the Russian royal guard who refused the Czarina's more-than-tentative offer and is sentenced to death for scorning her. The plot that follows is a pretty complicated affair, and combined with the Russian names, would, if put end to end, reach from Picture-Play to The Literary Digest.

Vilma Banky is beautiful and natural as Mischa (sic), but Clarence Brown has not brought out the talent wich she showed in "The Dark Angel," nor did Miss Dresser have much opportunity as the Czarina. Playing opposite a male star is really no job for a woman. After all, woman's place is in the home.

In the New York theater where I saw this picture, the aisles, lobby, and house were packed with people during its entire run, which only goes to prove that I am too fussy, and that Mr. Valentino's hold on the public can still be accepted without question.

Anyway, the picture is well worth seeing, and I don't think youd regret devoting an evening to it.

For more information, see "The Eagle" as our "Feature of the Month"

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