Posts Tagged ‘Regeneration’

The Blue Bird: No Place Like Home

December 17, 2009

Maurice Tourneur‘s 1918 production of The Blue Bird feels a long way from Walsh’s Five Points. This adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck‘s 1908 play, is realized by the French director for Adolph Zukor‘s Famous Players-Lasky in fantastic style. Tytyl and Mytyl are a brother and sister living up in a snow-covered village that’s located somewhere between Hansel and Gretel. Across the way lives a sick child and her mannish-looking mother. Down the road are “The Rich Children.” After the kids refuse to let the sick girl adopt their pet bird, they recieve a night visit from a fairy. The fairy brings their surroundings to life and charges Tytyl (Robin Macdougall) and Mytyl (Tula Belle) to find the bluebird of happiness.

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Regeneration: Gangsters Before Gangsters

December 17, 2009

Raoul Walsh’s 1915 film Regeneration is often acclaimed as one of the first gangster films, but these aren’t really gangsters modern audiences would be familiar with. The gang Owen (John McCann) leads are more of a mob of Lower East Side plug uglies than true sports. They wear floppy caps and the working clothes of the docks and congregate in a basement called the Chicory Hall, where the thugs are as likely to be found sleeping on the bare dirt floor as playing cards.

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