Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed on location in Italy, where director Henry King ruled over a huge set that covered 17 acres, Romola stars Lillian Gish in the title role. The daughter of a 15th-century Florentine aesthete, Romola becomes the bride of the caddish Tito Melema (William Powell). Using all the underhanded resources at his disposal, Melema finagles his way into the position of Chief Magistrate, taking every opportunity to abuse his powers. One of his most heinous acts is his betrayal of country girl Tessa (Dorothy Gish), who ends up drowning herself. Melema himself is consigned to a watery grave when the people revolt against his persecutions. This leaves Romola (who despite her title-character status has virtually nothing to do in the film other than stand around and look beautiful) free to marry artist Carlos Buccelini (Ronald Colman), who has loved her all along. The most spectacular setpiece in the film is Henry King's meticulous reconstruction of the execution of Savonarola (Herbert Grimwood). Romola was based on the novel by George Eliot.
corruption, daughter, drowning, execution, suicide