My Silent’s are golden theme continues now with a look upon another classic silent movie classic as I continue to explore the many facets of silent movies as this era has such vast richness and depth to its storytelling upon the screen. Today’s review I review Forbidden Fruit (1921) a movie that is Cinderella-of-the-Tenements tale, Forbidden Fruit is also a decadent slice of the twenties, as viewed through the extravagant lens of Cecil B. DeMille. Today I review another golden silent gem for my blog.
Forbidden Fruit review
Cecil B. DeMille is in good form in this drama centering on a poor seamstress (Agnes Ayres) who gets caught up in a web of deceit and murder when she accepts an invitation by a social climber (Kathlyn Williams) to fill out her dinner table by posing as Natalie Webb. The scheme is to fill the table with pretty young women to stall a potential business partner (Forrest Stanley) from leaving town before he can invest in the husband’s (Theodore Roberts) oil venture as dramas form this era go its surely a fun one to watch unfold on the screen.
This movie has a good story with good acting that has such wonderful ideas by its director. The DeMille/Macpherson team could not resist driving home their Cinderella point without a decadent fantasy sequence which happens to be a highlight of this movie as its truly one of those marvelous scenes that is wonderful to watch unfold upon the screen. Another notch in the film’s favor is the delightfully over-the-top set and costume design. Natacha Rambova took the usual Rococo look that Cinderella is often saddled with and made it so different from anything done for this classic tale. end up with a kind of science fiction French court that stands out among classic movies sets of this sort, a light-up skirt for the fairy godmother, the look is amplified by the glass sets and stylized performances. Forbidden Fruit could have benefited from better leads overall as all give out good performances upon the screen. This is a fun gem that I wish would be on DVD soon as it is a shame this is one classic movie you should see.