HIS MAJESTY THE AMERICAN
Starring Douglas Fairbanks
Here goes picture number one, of he Big Four output. Knowing the Big Four, and reading that title, it is almost superfluous to say that his majesty is Douglas Fairbanks. He is, indeed. The piece reminds me, very directly, of the popular romances of a decade or two decades ago, which were strung around the reading world in the years following Hope's ten-strike with "The Prisoner of Zenda." The Hollywood acrobatic hero is introduced as an adventure-lover in his own small village of New York, where, with few excitements on tap, he has his house fitted out like a fire-station, with gongs, sliding-poles and other get-there-quick whatnot, and he has a pretty time with the police and fire departments until a reform quiets things down, whereupon he goes to Mexico for his thrills - and thence to the mythical kingdom of Alaine, where he straightens out a nation, rescues a princess and marries her, and does many other particularly Fairbanksian things by way of incidental diversion and civic excitement. The piece is simply a good-humored diversion in which no one, including the star, seems to take things or himself too seriously. It is a most ordinary story to begin with, lifted up a bit by rapid and unconventional treatment, devoid of bunk or bombast, and peppered with colloquial titles throughout. The treatment and settings have been generous, and one of the latter, a masked-in piece of modern scenic trickery representing the valley of Alaine lying at the foot of Alp-like mountains, is quite striking though it would be palpably paint and canvas if it were left more than a moment, each time, in the spectator's eyes. Mr. Fairbanks, alert and brisk as usual, is assisted very cleverly by Sam Sothern, Frank Campeau, Lillian Langdon, and that sweet child, Margery Daw.