Lights of Old Broadway (1925)

Genres - Comedy, Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |  
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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

Because Little Old New York was so successful, MGM and newspaper/sometime film magnate William Randolph Hearst decided to put Marion Davies into another picturesque tale of New York in the 1800s -- this time a few decades later, circa 1870. The idea actually worked. The film, based on the Laurence Eyre play The Merry Wives of Gotham, was charming and it turned a profit (something not all of Davies' films did). Davies has a dual role, as Fely and Anne O'Tandy, twin sisters who are orphaned on a ship sailing from Ireland to America. Fely is taken in by a family that lives in a shantytown on the edge of New York, and Anne is adopted by the wealthy de Rondes. Fely becomes a singer at Tony Pastor's while Anne is a member of the elite. The de Rhonde son, Dirk (Conrad Nagel), experiments in electricity. He's fond of Anne, but it is Fely whom he falls for. He meets her during a shantytown uprising. The rioters see his well-tailored clothes and attack him. Fely rescues him and finds some rags for him to wear so he can pass through safely. Dirk is not bothered by her poor surroundings. His parents (Frank Currier and Julia Swayne Gordon) are bothered, however, and they disown him. Fely's father has bought a little electric stock, and when it takes off, this winds up saving the de Rhondes' bank from bankruptcy. After that, the de Rhondes gratefully welcome Fely into their home. Fely and Dirk go to pick up her father and as they leave downtown, the electric lights of the city are turned on for the first time. This picture featured a five-minute Technicolor sequence during the riot scene.



inventor, twins, wealth