The Ace of Cads (1926) Famous Players-Lasky. Distributor: Paramount Pictures. Presenters: Adolph Zukor, Jesse L. Lasky. Associate Producer: William Le Baron. Director: Luther Reed. Adaptation-Screenplay: Forrest Halsey. Photography: J. Roy Hunt. Cast: Adolphe Menjou, Alice Joyce, Norman Trevor, Philip Strange, Suzanne Fleming. 8 reels, 7,786 ft. This film appears to be LOST
|Who better to play the Ace of Cads than Adolphe Menjou?. One hopes Alice wasn't too long-suffering in this lost film. Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for these pictures.
Click thumbnails for a larger images.
|She looks happier with this guy|
|A lobby card|
Famous Players production. Adolphe Menjou starred in this Michael Arlen story. Adapted by Forrest Halsey and directed by Luther Reed. At the Rivoli, New York, week. Oct. 16. Running time, 70 min.
|Chapel Maturin||Adolphe Menjou|
|Sir Guy de Gramercy||Norman Trevor|
|Basil de Gramercy||Philip Strange|
The suave and polished Adolphe Menjou in a romantic role made to order for his style of acting, a part with all kinds of romantic appeal and the attractive air of British society. An interesting light little drama, but very graceful in substance and background, without enough action for a kick.
The hero is a mate to Bertie in "Under Two Flags," and indeed this Arlen story has a good deal in common with that old epic of naive romance. A good, quiet story is well told in terms of quiet drama and acted with that tone of restraint.
Scenically, the production has much to recommend it. There are those rich but simple British interiors, splendidly realized; a good deal of spectacular flash in fashionable restaurant and gambling casino settings, and occasional glimpses of the Royal Guards, in which the hero is an officer. These last bits are probably cut-ins, but they are pat in their application to the action.
Lieut. Maturin is a gay youth among the London fashionables, quartered with his bother officer, the crafty Basil, son of Col. de Gramercy, commander of the exclusive regiment. Both are rivals for Eleanour, sharing their purses and their leisure.
Maturin swears off wine and gay ladies when he wins the hand of Eleanour, while Basil plots his undoing. It is Basil who arranges a bachelor dinner for Maturin and then tips off his fiancee, Eleanour, who bursts in just in time to catch her future husband apparently making love to a light lady of the evening--all details pre-arranged by Basil.
Horrified at the wreck of his happiness, Maturin drinks too much and becomes involved in a public brawl, an episode his Colonel takes advantage of to force him in disgrace from the regiment. There follows years of wanderings about Continental resorts while Maturin tries to forget.
Eleanour has married Basil, and now is a widow with a daughter, Joan, a headstrong girl, who resents the domination of Col. de Gramercy, her grandfather. Upon Maturin's return to London he is accidentally thrown into contact with Joan, with whom he plans a marriage to revenge himself upon the Colonel, in whose eyes he is a disgraced outcast.
The drama of the story comes in the clash between Maturin and the old Colonel, who tries to bully Maturin and then tries to buy him off. It is when Eleanour takes up the management of the affair that he is persuaded to abandon his project, giving up the girl and foregoing his revenge only on the pleadings of his old sweetheart.
It is this episode that reunited the suitors of years before in a happy ending for a neat bit of sentimental romance.
"The Ace of Cads"
Adolphe Menjou Shows Fine Artistry in Role of Dashing Officer in Arlen Play
Reviewed by Epes W. Sargent.
[Omitted--picture of Menjou and a woman--can't see clearly enough to identify]
GETTING AWAY from comedy roles, Adolphe Menjou demonstrates his right to consideration as a serious actor in Paramount's version of Michael Arlen's "The Ace of Cads." To those who have regarded him purely as a light comedian, his touches of pathos come as a surprise. He handles an impossible role so well as to create a desire to see him in a story in which he will have a real chance. As in his first excursion into serious work, he is hampered by the character he must portray. That he makes Maturin so interesting is a personal triumph, for he seems to be hampered both by the role and the direction.
This applies in even greater degree to Norman Trevor as the interfering old Colonel. The fussiness of the military martinet has been stressed until the role is all out of proportion.
Alice Joyce, always gracious and patrician, has a part more to her liking, and in both periods of the play looks the part, for the [sic] still can suggest youth while being even better in the flower of maturity.
The acting average is far above the plot level, for the story is an impossible one, impossibly told. Arlen does not profit by transfer to the screen largely because of his choice of characters. Healthy interest cannot be derived from unwholesome people, and his stories lack real screen appeal. They take too much explaining to be realized in action only. The scenarist has done the best he could, but the result is not above the program average, though the Arlen name should help to sell.
Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky Present
Adolphe Menjou in
"The Ace of Cads"
with Alice Joyce and Norman Trevor
From story by Michael Arlen
Directed by Luther Reed
A Paramount Production.
|Chappel Maturin||Adolphe Menjou|
|Sir Guy de Gramercy||Norman Trevor|
Both loving the same girl, Basil de Gramercy tricks his friend, Maturin, into a situation which causes Eleanour to break her engagement. Maturin is cashiered from the army and rapidly goes to the bad. Some years later he is attracted by Joan, daughter of Eleanour and Basil, and through her wins Eleanour. Drama and romance.
Last revised January 10, 2009