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John Gilbert

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drednm
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John Gilbert

Postby drednm » November 24th, 2011, 8:45 pm


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Rita Hayworth
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby Rita Hayworth » November 24th, 2011, 9:45 pm

He is another favorite of mine ... I've seen most of his works as an actor ... he was so good!

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knitwit45
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby knitwit45 » November 24th, 2011, 9:52 pm

My favorite Garbo film is Woman of Affairs (1927) and JG is terrific in it.

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moira finnie
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby moira finnie » March 11th, 2012, 10:23 pm

The rarely seen Downstairs (1932) has been posted on youtube.

*MILD SPOILER ALERT*

In what may be his best (and most modern) performance in a talking film, the strong-voiced John GIlbert charms, seduces and eventually outrages everyone both upstairs and downstairs in a story set in a Central European baronial household that provides the setting for a sly social commentary on human nature, sexual politics and class divisions. It is also a fascinating look at the way that an American film could examine an adult subject in a sophisticated manner in pre-code films. Wth a screenplay by Lenore Coffee and Melville Baker, it is drawn from a remarkably dark and cynical story written by John Gilbert during the height of his silent stardom. The movie was directed by silent veteran Monta Bell and features the star as an amoral chauffeur in a German household composed of Paul Lukas and Virginia Bruce as a newly married butler and maid who serve aristocrats Reginald Owen and Olga Baclanova. Lukas, as an unimaginative but warm and loyal man who rigidly overlooks the foibles of his employers and struggles to cope with his sexually awakened young bride's infidelity, is particularly good if maddening, turning a blind eye to his wife's emotional needs and the selfishness at the core of class differences. In a particularly cruel irony, it is the lovely Bruce, who was engaged and soon married to Gilbert in real life, whose character is drawn into a timorous affair with the womanizing chauffeur. After discovering her own defiant sexuality, she openly challenges the authority of her conventionally paternalistic husband, only to be thrown into turmoil when her lover's extensive libidinous (and larcenous) activities are more fully revealed--especially in the cruelty of his relations with a cook.

In a conclusion that would soon be impossible for studio products, Gilbert's bilious manipulator avoids a conventional end, sidestepping consequences and conscience in a chilling and accomplished performance as the singular character who believes that he alone sees life without sentiment or delusions. [The film was not a hit for John Gilbert, whose spiral downward continued. Downstairs was shown as the lower part of a double bill at many of Loews theaters in 1932-33. Too bad the remarkable self-assurance that the actor projected in this role could not be sustained in real life. ]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn33QayK8Y0[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdzprAK5uP4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4IofaISnxk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ9W84sD3Q4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tulCiJRE7UI[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYnrsF8bsSI[/youtube]
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intothenitrate
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby intothenitrate » March 12th, 2012, 9:40 am

So beautifully written! Gilbert's character is so rotten in this film, one could almost develop a disdain for the performer himself.
"Immorality may be fun, but it isn't fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day."
Goodnight Basington

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moira finnie
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby moira finnie » March 12th, 2012, 10:04 am

intothenitrate wrote:So beautifully written! Gilbert's character is so rotten in this film, one could almost develop a disdain for the performer himself.

I think that the compelling yet repellent aspects of Gilbert's character make the movie highly watchable, yet the characterization may have reflected a degree of self-disgust in the actor--and, unfortunately, did not help him make his articulated desire to work behind the camera a reality. I don't think it won him any new fans, but in retrospect the movie is even more interesting and ahead of its time.

I wish that the potentially appealing The Phantom of Paris (1931) had been a success, restoring him to a stronger position in Hollywood--but even then it may have seemed a bit old-fashioned to Depression-era audiences. Btw, I found this earlier discussion about Gilbert's other sound films here:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2902&start=15
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 12th, 2012, 2:52 pm

Downstairs is such an interesting movie from the early talkie period, it shows that John Gilbert was so much more than a matinee idol and was turning into a good character actor with a writing talent to boot, he could have developed into so much more, I don't think he held any great attachment to his image but he did want to be of value in the film industry. I don't know why Hollywood never really accepted the big names as capable of functioning in other capacities within their studios. Perhaps the Downstairs script was ahead of his time but it holds up very well when viewed today. I really liked the role he took in Fastworkers. What a myth about his voice.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: John Gilbert

Postby Ann Harding » March 13th, 2012, 8:06 am

Well, that's a coincidence, I was rewatching Hell's Hinges (1916) yesterday with the fabulous William S. Hart and I managed to spot the young Jack Gilbert among the extras:
Image
he is the one with a dark shirt and light scarf round his neck. He sports a little moustache.
Recently I read Bill Hart's memoirs My Life East and West which proved really fascinating. I learned, among many other things, that Hart gave Jack Gilbert his first screen credit as his younger brother in The Apostle of Vengeance (1916) in spite of Thomas Ince's opposition, see below:
Image

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Re: John Gilbert

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 13th, 2012, 3:23 pm

He looks so young there, thank you for posting that photograph, he wanted to be a writer at a young age and was happy to do extra work to make do, he made some brilliant films and was such a presence, I hate to think he's often an inaccurate footnote in film history.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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moira finnie
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby moira finnie » March 13th, 2012, 4:13 pm

No wonder casting directors found him appealing. His distinctive features really stand out, even at that very young stage. I remember reading in his daughter Leatrice Gilbert Fountain's book Dark Star, how he nearly starved during his teenage years as he struggled to find a niche somewhere.

Good news! Eve Golden, one of our former Guest Authors, has turned her excellent research and writing skills to this topic, and has a forthcoming book entitled John Gilbert--The Man and the Myths.
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 14th, 2012, 1:44 pm

That's a book that I'll be shelling out for, I do like Eve's books.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Gagman 66
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby Gagman 66 » March 15th, 2012, 5:13 pm

:shock: Holy Smoke! Jack sure had an abundance of hair when he was that young. Amazing still. Does this film survive at all?

:) Here's a still from the film that made him a Superstar. King Vidor's HIS HOUR (1924). Based on the Novel by Elinor Glyn. No doubt He is angry because the Princess neglected to remove her slippers after trudging through the Snow. Getting spots all over the newly waxed palace floors! The nerve of some people!


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John Gilbert and Aileen Pringle-"Fury Of The Prince!"

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intothenitrate
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Re: John Gilbert

Postby intothenitrate » March 15th, 2012, 7:30 pm

I had forgotten that Gilbert was in He Who Gets Slapped, also made in 1924, so I watched it yesterday. Terrific movie. Very artful. Anyway, Gilbert's character was somewhat of a generic love interest that really could have been played by anyone IMO. He wasn't bad, he just didn't have much to do.
"Immorality may be fun, but it isn't fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day."
Goodnight Basington

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Re: John Gilbert

Postby JackFavell » March 16th, 2012, 1:06 pm

I agree about HE Who Gets Slapped, Gilbert has hardly anything to do, but what a movie! Terribly sad, it has always been my favorite Lon Chaney film.

Hell's Hinges is a remarkable film, I highly recommend spending the fifteen or so minutes to watch it. You can see it here:

http://www.filmpreservation.org/preserv ... inges-1916

I adore John Gilbert, I am convinced that he was THE most expressive leading man ever. Look at that expression on his face in the photo Ann Harding posted! He may be scrawny with big hair, but he can act, even at that early point in his career.

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Re: John Gilbert

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 16th, 2012, 3:55 pm

Couldn't he just? He had a lovely voice too. I love his scenes in Queen Christina which are tinged with sadness because of his demise.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin


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