Evangeline (1929)

Genres - Drama, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Epic  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although technically a "talkie," Evangeline is actually a "hybrid" - a film that contains a small amount of sound but has much more in common with a silent film than with a true talkie. To modern viewers, such films can be rather jarring; we're used to either all-talking or no-talking, and to be in the "silent mood" and have it interrupted by a song (as happens here) or a line of dialogue (as happens here as well, although only at the end) feels odd. However, if on can get used to this, Evangeline is an enjoyable and fairly engrossing experience. Make no doubt about it: we're in weepie territory here, with plenty of romantic melodrama, so those who are turned off by this genre should look elsewhere. P#Evangeline} is also a bit slow in places, and occasionally over the top, especially to those who are unused to the language of silent movies. However, the film has a beautiful look to it, with good production values and some truly excellent cinematography from Al M. Green and Robert Kurrle. Director Edwin Carewe knows how to capture a story without words and he presents star Dolores Del Rio in a very good light. For her part, Del Rio turns in a lovely and moving performance. The movie rises and falls on her shoulders, and she never lets it down for a moment.