7.6/10
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Beyond the Rocks (1922)

AL | | Drama, Romance | 7 May 1922 (USA)
A young woman marries an older millionaire and then falls in love with a handsome nobleman on her honeymoon.

Director:

Sam Wood

Writers:

Elinor Glyn (based on the novel by), Jack Cunningham (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Gloria Swanson ... Theodora Fitzgerald
Rudolph Valentino ... Lord Hector Bracondale
Edythe Chapman ... Lady Bracondale
Alec B. Francis ... Captain Fitzgerald
Robert Bolder ... Josiah Brown
Gertrude Astor ... Morella Winmarleigh
June Elvidge ... Lady Anna Anningford
Mabel Van Buren ... Jane McBride
Helen Dunbar ... Lady Ada Fitzgerald
Raymond Blathwayt Raymond Blathwayt ... Sir Patrick Fitzgerald
Frank Butler Frank Butler ... Lord Wensleydon (as F. R. Butler)
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Storyline

Love, duty, and the scent of narcissus. Theodora, a young and penniless aristocrat, marries a much older man, self-made millionaire grocer Josiah Brown, so that her father and spinster sisters can live comfortably. Soon after the wedding, she finds herself falling in love with Hector, the Tenth Earl of Bracondale, a playboy she encounters on the social circuit of the very rich -- in the Swiss Alps, Paris, London, and the English countryside. Hector is attracted to her as well. Theodora must choose between love and duty, and then Josiah and Hector must make choices of their own. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrilling rescues of the heroine-first when she over turns in a boat in the ocean and later when she hangs by a half broken rope over a precipitous cliff in the icy Alps. (Print Ad- Elmira Star-Gazette ((Elmira, N.Y.)) 10 May 1922)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

7 May 1922 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gouden boeien See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$265,150, 31 December 1922
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2005 alternate) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (Sepia)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gloria Swanson noted in her memoirs that she hoped this film, lost at the time, would one day resurface. She singled out a dance scene with Rudolph Valentino as one of the best scenes in her career; the sequence does not appear in the surviving version of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Husein Ben Ali and his men are being chased away by the soldiers, a crew member steps in front of the camera during the wide shot of the scene. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Lord Hector Bracondale: Darling, we have passed the rocks and here are the safe waters beyond.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2005, The Nederlands Filmmuseum copyrighted a restored version of this film with new intertitles (based on the original continuity script) and a new musical score by Henny Vrienten. It ran 80 minutes. which included about 2 minutes of explanatory remarks and restoration credits, was distributed by Milestone and broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies channel in 2006. The IMDb credits are taken from this version, but they probably differ from the original credits. In 1922, Valentino's screen given name was Rodolph and spelled that way in reviews. Cast lists were not common; credited actors were in the intertitles right before they appeared onscreen. If that were the case for this movie, Helen Dunbar, 'Raymond Brathwayt' and Frank Butler would be marked uncredited, since their names and their character names do not appear in the intertitles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Return to Babylon (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully understated acting
27 May 2006 | by mgconlan-1See all my reviews

It's great to have this film back after 84 years! It's only a pity it couldn't have been rediscovered while Gloria Swanson was still alive (in her autobiography she named it as one of the three films of hers the "loss" of which she regretted most, along with "Madame Sans-Gêne" and the last reel of "Sadie Thompson"). Elinor Glyn's story is horribly contrived — I can't think of another movie until the Beatles' "Help!" that moved its characters so extensively around the world to so little effect — and the love scenes are a bit disappointing (Swanson recalled that the Fatty Arbuckle and William Desmond Taylor scandals both broke just before this film started shooting, with the result that the script was given a last-minute rewrite to tone down the adulterous passions of her and Valentino's characters) — but what makes this movie truly great is the marvelously understated acting. This is the film to show someone who thinks all silent-film actors swooned, waved their arms like windmills and reacted to traumas like the Statue of Liberty collapsing in an earthquake: the people in "Beyond the Rocks" use simple, economical gestures and facial expressions to get their emotions across. I credit director Sam Wood — who made the transition to sound quite successfully and had a long career in the talkies — with getting these marvelously realistic performances from his cast. Henny Vrienten's musical score for the restored print is somber and effective, though I could have done without the sound effects and crowd noises and it seems odd to watch a silent film with music whose primary instruments are a flute and a Miles Davis-style trumpet.


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