Toronto Silent Film Festival: Beverly of Graustark
TSFF Day 3 closing programme
This is a truly wonderful blend of gender-bending light comedy, a bit of satire and even a touch of slapstick highlighting Marion Davies at her rom-com best. Less well known than her later classics Show People and The Patsy due to lack of wide modern access, this film will prove once and for all what a formidable talent Davies was. Marion is Beverly, the American co-ed forced to disguise herself as her cousin Oscar when he suffers a skiing accident. Why? Well, he’s not just any cousin, he’s the heir to the throne of Graustark (one of those legendary mythical princedoms Hollywood made good use of over the years) and there are those who will stop at nothing to keep him off it. Her work is cut out for her when she must foil the General who has his own ambitions (played with delicious wickedness by Roy D’Arcy). Of course, the now disguised Beverly, meets Dantan the Goat-Herder (Moreno) who saves he/she from certain disaster, and then hires him as her bodyguard … and, you guessed it, winds up falling for him. There are mistaken identities, palace intrigues, quick clothing swaps, drinking games, chases, swordfights and more than ample suspension of disbelief (those guys were THICK if they couldn’t see the charming gal under the uniform). It all comes to a rousing finale where heroics are performed, wicked intent is thwarted, hearts are won AND you get a great early Technicolor fancy ball to close it all out.
Introduced by Marion Davies biographer, author Lara Gabrielle (pre-recorded)
Live piano accompaniment by Morgan Paige Melbourne
$17 eventbrite or at the door
Make it part of a Festival Pass or Sunday Pass