Starring Richard Barthelmess
The combination of author, star and director has produced another great picture. Richard Barthelmess' first starring film, by Joseph Hergesheimer and directed by Henry King, is a masterpiece. It is one of the few film tragedies of uncompromising power.
Everyone is glad that Dick's first individual picture is an artistic success. We hope it will be a financial success - it deserves to be. See if you can't prove to the doubting magnates that you do appreciate fine things on the screen. Here is something that deserves the highest praise you can give it. You may have read the Hergesheimer story of the Kinemon family of mountaineers. David, the youngest, is "tol'able - just tol'able" - until he proves his right to be called a man by putting up the greatest fight we have seen since "The Spoilers."
This is no light, frothy little comedy. It is strong meat, but it is so masterfully served it cannot possibly be offensive. It was taken in the actual locale. It is as true to life as fiction can be. Griffith might have directed some of the scenes; certainly he could not have made Barthelmess give a greater performance. This boy is as great an actor as the films have ever had. In this picture he touches tragic heights. If you can see his scenes with this film other - a fine player, by the way - without feeling a lump in your throat, there's something wrong with you. Don't miss this. It is a classic.
Barthelemess forgets he is the idol of every girl in America
and portrays the awkward mountain youth with exquisite pathos
and whimsicality. Gladys Hulette plays his sweetheart. Ernest
Torrence is excellent as the villain.
Starring Richard Barthelmess
PICTURE PLAY MAGAZINE
Don't you sometimes hold your breath when you hear that your favorite featured player has been made a star? So many actors who have done such marvelous work so long as they remained under the management and directions of some one like Griffith have become mere walking automatons when they started out with the "own company" and their name in electric lights. I never loved a dear gazelle in the form of a charming ordinary actor but somebody or other had to go and make a star of him and spoil everything. But all this croaking is by way of saying that you have nothing to fear in the first picture which presents Richard Barthelmess as a star. "Tol'able David" is worthy of the best work of this singularly imaginative and magnetic young actor.
It is a simple story by Joseph Hergesheimer about a boy whom circumstances force to act as a man; the head of a surly family of Kentucky mountaineers. Its incidents - the mountain feud, the pretty girl on the wrong side of the quarrel, the brutal rival - are not unknown to the screen, but they have been developed with a sincerity and force which we wish were more familiar. And Barthelmess clings to his simplicity with a fidelity that makes you realize his former restraint was not all due to the guiding hand of Mr. Griffith. Gladys Hulette also catches this tone as the mountain-girl sweetheart. The picture is in seven reels, but it sweeps along without a moment of that let-down which comes with padding.
For more information, see "Tol'able David" as our "Feature of the Month"
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