starring Wallace Reid, Theodore Roberts and Ann Little
July, 1919

This picture is supposed to star Wallace Reid, but according to the number of close-ups of Theodore Roberts smoking a cigar, I should say it was starring a new brand of tobacco. Although I quarrel with the infrequency within camera range, I cannot but admit that the production as as a whole is a mighty interesting piece of work. This story also was recounted in last month's Magazine so you know it concerns a peppery young auto salesman, his red-peppery employer, his daughter and an auto race. The race between the machine and a train has been well handled by Director Cruze. Every ounce of suspense, interest and thrill is maintained until the very end, while all the comedy possible is extracted from the conflict of the two men's hot tempers. Some of the photography is unnecessarily harsh on Ann Little, and Wally Reid is conspicuous because of the distance they keep him from the camera, otherwise, "The Roaring Road" is satisfactory.

starring Wallace Reid, Theodore Roberts and Ann Little
April 18, 1919

Several of the Byron Morgan stories, appearing recently in the Saturday Evening Post, have been incorporated into one and furnished the basis for a Wallace Reid-Paramount screen vehicle. Marion Fairfax arranged the continuity, and James Cruze, who handled Reid in the "Alias Mike Moran" and "The Dub" features, also directed this one.

The combination of several of the Byron Morgan tales makes an interesting, clean, wholesome, suspensive-interest picture story, but it is not a stellar vehicle for Wallace Reid, who is utterly eclipsed by Theodore Roberts in the role of "The Bear," the character around which the Morgan stores were written. This is no reflection upon Reid's talents, which he utilizes neatly and acceptably in "The Roaring Road" as "Toodles," but "The Bear" is a character role, and when handled by one of the greatest living character actors - if not the greatest - the result was inevitable, viz., he walked away with the show.

To those unfamiliar with the Morgan stories, J.D. Ward ("The Bear") is a gruff old president of an automobile manufacturing concern, and "Toodles" Waldron is one of his salesmen, with two hobbies - one to marry Ward's daughter and the other to drive a racing car. Ward and "Toodles" are constantly at loggerheads, and although "Toodles" occasionally puts it over the old man, Ward is generally more than a match for the youngster. The finish of "The Roaring Road" is a race between an auto and a train from Los Angeles to Frisco, in which are shown some remarkable bits of photography. The picture is first rate comedy with a lot of corking thrills. It will please any picture audience.

For more information, see "The Roaring Road" as our "Feature of the Month"

Video source: Unknown Video, Movies Unlimited, Nostalgia, Facets

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