The Dove (1927)
1st Academy Awards 1929
Nominated for 1 award, which it won.
Won Art Direction (William Comenzies).
The Dove is another film held in the vaults at the Library of Congress, but it is an incomplete version. Please find below an excerpt from a review written January 3, 1928 by Mordaunt Hall. I found the article here, on the New York Times site.
“The Dove (1927)
“Although there is fully one adventure too many in the screen version of Willard Mack‘s play “The Dove,” it is, up to the last sequence, an excellent picture. Courage and imagination have entered into its direction and it is a pity, indeed that the producer, Roland West, should have been so prodigal with Johnny Powell’s experiences.
“While Norma Talmadgc supplies the necessary beauty and actual raison d’étre to this agreeable yarn, the player who comes out with flying colors is Noah Beery, largely because a part has fallen to his lot that is suited to his vigorous but flexible face. It is the rôle that Holbrook Blinn acted on the stage, that of Don José Maria y Sandoval, “the bes’ dam caballero in Costa Roja.” Plots may mean, little to picture producers, but the geography of a yarn means even less. Hence, it has been decided to pluck forth Mexicana from Mr. Mack’s original effort, call it Costa Roja and then fling it over into the blue Mediterranean, where it will stay, so far as the film conception of “The Dove” is concerned.
“Taking it by and large, José is perhaps a screen character to which the Mexican Government might have objected, for he is greedy, sensuous, boastful, cold-blooded, irritable, and quite a wine-bibber, but he does dress well. His top boots are always like a mirror, his riding breeches are spotless and he is a good figure of a man. He hates to have his luncheon spoiled by a noisy victim of his shooting squad. He adores beauty, but is inconstant.
“It is a pleasure to see Miss Talmadge in this film after the frightfully poor picturization of “Camille,” which her grace and talent could not save. Here she is the guitar girl, who emphasizes her utterances with “You betcha my life.” For some strange reason she speaks in broken English when conversing with José, who, one gathers, is one of her own people. There are a goodly share of close-ups of Miss Talmadge, and many of them are much too blurred.
“In the introduction to this series of adventures, Mr. West has the temerity to keep his camera going without a soul on the horizon. It is a fine idea, for it creates quite a nice illusion, that of the audience being taken over the byways of Costa Roja to where the story is laid. You fly along the rough roads, over a mountain or two and then come to a place which has been smoothed over by José’s minions or some other caballero’s sons of toil.
“Mr. West is brave enough to tell his story without asking Miss Talmadge to put in an appearance before she ought to. This in itself creates a neat suspense, and the suspense would be sustained if Mr. West had not insisted on Gilbert Roland, as Johnny Powell, trying to outdo Fairbanks. Those who want to save themselves this series of spilled exploits can close their eyes once Johnny Powell grips a rope and swings to the roof of a building opposite.
“The story—caramba! It is just one of those affairs with a don who loves a beautiful girl in his own way and a young American with whiskers who adores the same maiden. It is strength versus skill, and skill wins out.
“There is a touch of gambling in this picture, and at the end Don José strikes one as a half-brother of “The Bad Man,” for he guffaws his departure by informing you of his further appreciation of himself, which is:
“Dios, what a man I am!”
“Mr. Beery does occasionally make Don José just a bit too deliberate and one might also say demonstrative. The portrait, however, is a good one, nothing you would probably see in less than a hundred years of life, but nevertheless an interesting person. Mr. Roland is quiet, looking more like a Don Zalva than a Johnny Powell. There are too many close-ups of him mumbling affectionate phrases to Dolores, the “Dove.” Harry Myers, the actor who triumphed in the picturization of “A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur,” is remarkably fine as the owner of a gambling saloon. To fill the rôle he shaved the sides of his head so that it looks as if he were wearing a toupee.
“Hope Hampton appears charming and graceful as the wearer of many fashions, the costumes being all the more interesting because this subject has been filmed by the Technicolor process.
“Dios, What a Man!”
“THE DOVE, with Noah Beery, Norma Talmadge, Gilbert Roland, Eddie Borden, Harry Myers, Michael Vavitch, Brinsley Shaw, Kalla Pasha, Charles Darvas, Mlchael Dark and Walter Daniels, adapted from Willard Mack’s play of the same name, directed by Roland West; “A Fashion Revue,” in Technicolor, with Hope Hampton; “Ko-Ko’s Earth Control,” an Inkwell cartoon. At the Rialto Theatre.”