Lorna Doone (1922)
Released in 1922: They young daughter of the Count of Lorne is kidnapped and raised by an outlaw clan near the coast of Devonshire, England and is rescued by a farm boy she met as a child.
Directed by Maurice Tourneur
Written by R.D. Blackmore, Katherine S. Reed, Cecil G. Mumford, Cecil G. Mumford and Maurice Tourneur.
The Actors: Madge Bellamy (Lorna Doone), Mae Giraci (Lorna as a child), John Bowers (John Ridd), Charles Hatton (John Ridd as a child), Frank Keenan (Sir Ensor Doone), Jack MacDonald (Counsellor Doone), Norris Johnson (Ruth), Gertrude Astor (Countess of Brandir), James Robert Chandler (Frye), Irene De Voss (Lorna's Mother), Joan Standing (Gwenny Carfax).
Love Conquers All . . . Sometimes
If you are older, think of the movie 'Gone With The Wind' - if you are younger, think of 'Titanic' - for the people that were alive to experience the dawn of the motion picture era it might have been this movie that was the blockbuster that everyone remembered and talked about. The first movies were very short clips usually viewed in a carnival setting in a box that the customer inserted a nickel and then watched the short movie. Called nickelodeons, the little boxes were mankind's first glimpse at moving pictures. This evolved into longer movies that could be shown on the wall of a large room full of people, and soon the world was eagerly lining up to watch any story that a motion picture company could produce. Once in a while, just like today, there was a visionary director who produced a timeless epic that would be remembered long after it left the movie theater circuit.
This is one of those movies. It follows a young girl who is daughter of a Count who is kidnapped from a small town in Devonshire, England by an outlaw clan living in the forest. And there is a boy, a young farm boy who she meets before she is kidnapped. They bond in immediate friendship and exchange gifts before she leaves Devon and is captured by the outlaw Doone clan. Years later the boy becomes a man, and one day is swept down the rushing river and over a tall waterfall and is near death as he washes up on the shore of the river. Lorna, who has blossomed into a beautiful woman, discovers him and brings him back to life. They discover that they are the ones that met so many years ago as children, and before they part the boy tells Lorna to signal him from the mountain top if she is ever in need of help. One day she does, and John rushes to her aid, taking her away from the outlaw clan and bringing her back to Devon to be his girlfriend. This would make the perfect storybook ending, but there is much more ahead for this roller coaster ride of love and disaster. Before they can get married, a gal comes from the King looking for Lorna, and she is taken back to London to become Lady Lorna, part of the Royalty of England, and Lorna and John separate again, probably forever. But alas, the fates once again intervene, and John travels to London to watch the Royal Baptism of the new baby of King James, and while there he saves the young King's life by stopping an assassin from shooting the young baby. The two unfortunate lovers meet again as the King thanks him, but not for good, as John heads back to the country town of Devon and Lady Lorna remains in London. But the tide turns again when Lady Lorna shows up in Devon seeking her beloved John. She has renounced her Royalty and come to marry John. Once again as we see the two standing at the altar in front of the Vicar to be wed, disaster strikes as Lorna is shot in the back by one of the outlaw clan and lays dying in John's arms. John vows vengeance on the clan and goes off to fight them all to the death. Pop a big bowl of white-kernel popcorn with warm melted butter . . . grab a box of tissues, and enjoy an epic story of love!
Madge Bellamy as Lorna Doone
Charles Hatton and Mae Giraci as the young John Ridd and Lorna Doone
Charles Hatton and Mae Giraci exchange gifts before they part ways
Charles Hatton as the young John Ridd
Charles Hatton, as young John Ridd, watches Lorna leave town
Frank Keenan as Sir Ensor Doone, outlaw clan leader
John Bowers as John Ridd, and Norris Johnson as cousin Ruth
John Bowers as John Ridd, in the armes of Lorna Doone, recovering from his plunge over the falls
John Bowers and Madge Bellamy in Lorna Doone
John Bowers, as John Ridd, watches Lorna leave him for the King's Palace and life in London as a Lady
Madge Bellamy, as Lorna Doone, learns that she is a Lady and is commanded by the King to return to London town, as John Bowers looks on
Madge Bellamy, as Lorna Doone, lies dying in Johns arms on their wedding day
Madge Bellamy, as Lorna Doone, with Frank Keenan, as Sir Esnor Doone, her outlaw kidnapper
Madge Bellamy and John Bowers are together again, as cousin Ruth looks on and plans her revenge
Madge Bellamy as Lorna Doone
Madge Bellamy, as Lorna Doone, rescues John Bowers from the raging river
Mae Giraci as Little Lorna, before she is kidnapped by the outlaw clan