APRIL FOLLY (1920)

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drednm

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APRIL FOLLY (1920)

PostMon Mar 13, 2017 7:40 pm

Here's my review for IMDb:

More a light adventure film than a romantic drama, Marion Davies stars as a woman who masquerades as another woman in order to fend off a famous jewel thief and deliver a famous diamond to its rightful owner.

Story opens with Davies reading her new story to her publisher and editor. We see the story as the scene switches to a masquerade party where Davies, as April Poole, meets an attractive man (Conway Tearle) and recognizes a famous thief (J. Herbert Frank). When the thief drops a piece of paper, April grabs it and learns of his plan to steal the Mannister Diamond. The next day, April tracks down Lady Diana Mannister and convinces her to allow a switch: April will travel to Cape Town as Lady Diana and deliver the diamond.

All this happens in reel 1, which is missing from the Library of Congress copy. Reel 2 starts with the women disembarking from a train and Diana meeting the man she is going to marry. Scene then shifts to the ocean liner where April as Diana plots to meet the thief but also meets Tearle again. (Tearl and Frank play the publisher and editor in the opening scenes.) But flirting with the men draws the ire of an old biddy passenger.

April poses with the diamond in front of her stateroom window, seeming to invite the thief to action. When he does show up, followed by Tearle, the old biddy complains to the captain and there's a scuffle when the thief is thrown out of her room. The next morning, Lady Diana is missing but Tearle has a cryptic note from her asking him to make sure her trunk gets delivered to a certain address.

As Tearle delivers the trunk to a woman dressed as a man and named Clive, we see that the thief has followed and breaks into the trunk to grab the diamond. He gets more than he bargained for.

Back in the publisher's office, Davies finishes reading the manuscript to the unenthusiastic men, and Tearle tells her how he thinks it should have ended.

Taken as a light adventure film with a female protagonist, APRIL FOLLY is a delightful trifle. If the viewer is expecting high drama or a crime thriller, he will be disappointed. Davies has a wonderful light touch even in this 1920 film, years before she showed her all-out comic skills. Tearle is rather dull, Frank is appropriately oily. Rest of the cast includes Hattie Delaro as the old biddy, Amelia Summerville as Clive, and Spencer Charters as a bumbling detective. Others listed in the credits appear in the missing first reel.

Film was made a few years before Joseph Urban began designing films for Marion Davies at Cosmopolitan, and this one has a very ordinary and almost flat look to it. However, the moonlight bathed finale is quite nice and there are some great close-ups of Marion Davies.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
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http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1

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