The Patriot. Director Ernst Lubitsch has a sexy touch but it is light, pleasant, no pudgy thumb. His whole hand is seen in this piece, the story of Tsar Paul and his trusted friend Count Pahlen, who plots away the tsar's life and does other nasty things. Emil Jannings as the tsar, Lewis Stone as the count are more than interesting : they are true.
Harold Teen. Lucien Littlefield always is funny; Mary Brian invariably inanimate. There was no surprise when Littlefield tickled, La Brian bored. There was surprise that this adaptation of Carl Ed's innocuous comic strip entertained.
The Terror. Caption-callers are thwarted by this all-talk picture. There are no subtitles. It concerns goings-on in a haunted house; shrieks come loud, often. It is better than The Lion and the Mouse, all-talk picture of which May McAvoy, Alec Francis, two of the terrorized, are veterans.
The Scarlet Lady. Lya de Putti has become ingenue. As the Bolshevik lass who shelves a Red leader for a nobleman, she grieves, pains her admirers, who remembered her in Variety. One good touch will be retained: sneery Warner Oland (the Red) fires six shots in the face of the camera, giving cinemaddicts the effect of standing behind each of the six nobles whom he is killing.
Just Married. Anne Nichols (Abie's Irish Rose) wrote this piece, could not find a market for it before the Abie outrage was produced. Now she can market anything. Thus Abie is responsible for Just Married, which is an abracadabra of situationswrong stateroom, wrong girl, compromise, concealment. A soporific.
Fortune's Fool. Emil Jannings knows what a war profiteer thinks about, resembles the type. The role is a broad platform for his best steps. Inordinately rich, the profiteer is not above "fixing" an automobile spring, causes the death of his prodigal son, driver of an opposition automobile. Jannings heaves.
Out of the Ruins. Richard Barthelmess wears the Legion of Honor medal, the Médaille Militaire, Belgian and French Croix de Guerre as the Blue Devil who deserts his regiment for lovely Marian Nixon. To La Nixon, however, go the medals for a good performance.
Four Walls. Joan Crawford, whose eyes happily escape being bovine, usually portrays passionate purity. In this piece she is a crook, inspires, by arousing jealousy in her reformed crook lover, crookedness. He fights, is accused of murdering the gangster whom Frieda (La Crawford) used as a foil. In the end, her crook lover converts Frieda to righteousness. Who is the well-meaning crook? None but John Gilbert, symbol to shebas of passionated dexterous lovemaking.