Sea Horses (1926)

It’s ironic that for the purposes of the What a Character Blogathon we are heading back into villainy as Powell’s previous outing White Mice was his actual first starring role, and I will come back to that picture at a later date.

Lorenzo Salvia, as portrayed by Powell, is a drunken Italian who abandons his wife, (Florence Vidor) and makes off for the island of Panda.

Inevitably Salvia’s dissipated lifestyle leads to his destruction before his wife can save him.

However despite all this drama Photoplay Magazine describes the pace of this lost picture as ‘snail-like’.

It is worth mentioning that around the time of filming Powell had been signed to a long term contract at Paramount – at this stage in his career Powell’s ability to play effective villains and secondary roles had enabled him to achieve some consolidation, even if this meant treading water in movies like Sea Horses which were little more than programmers. Despite such dull fare 1926 was to prove to be an exciting year for William Powell, with some exciting roles to come!

This piece forms part of the What a Character! Blogathon hosted by Once Upon a Screen, Outspoken & Freckled and Paula’s Cinema Club. Enjoy!

References:

William Powell: The Life and Pictures – Roger Bryant

Photoplay Magazine, May 1926, p.52

Faint Perfume (1925)

There doesn’t appear to be much to say about today’s lost picture. Clearly a filler, this melodrama didn’t exactly create any buzz or excitement. Therefore, I am going to leave today’s post in the capable hands of the Photoplay Magazine reviewer:

“A good strong dose of the smelling salts will be needed to revive you after this. Taken from the popular novel by Zona Gale this hasn’t a thing to offer. Everything in the picture compares with the perfume. It’s faint entertainment. William Powell, who was so very grand in ‘Romola’ is the only person in the cast worth mentioning, and even he – oh, well, what’s the use.”

Which is why Photoplay Magazine still stands the test of time for sharp, contemporary writing even after 90 years!

References/Recommended Reading:

Photoplay Magazine, September 1925, p.104