LA BOHÈME (King Vidor, 1926)

Based on Louis-Henri Murger’s 1847-49 Scènes de la vie de bohème, King Vidor’s accomplished La Bohème marked star Lillian Gish’s first film at M-G-M and proved the studio’s biggest financial success in 1926. Murger’s signature work inspired, as well, operas by Puccini and Leoncavallo and many other stories and plays, among them the Broadway musical […]

THE WEDDING NIGHT (King Vidor, 1935)

Three very good performances from Gary Cooper, Helen Vinson and Ralph Bellamy spark The Wedding Night, an affecting early production code-era drama for which King Vidor won the directorial prize at Venice. Edith Fitzgerald’s script, from a story by Edwin H. Knopf, revolves around Tony Barrett (Cooper), a young writer whose successful first novel has […]

THE CITADEL (King Vidor, 1938)

Robert Donat gives a brilliant performance—leagues beyond his Oscar-winning one the next year in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Sam Wood, 1939)—as Andrew Manson, an idealistic young doctor who, investigating the linkage between silica inhalation and lung disease, is opposed by miner-patients and mining board members. After his research laboratory is deliberately destroyed, Andrew and wife Christine […]