Monday, September 17, 2012

"Manuella" Loy

This week's film is a little-known Myrna Loy film from 1929 - The Great Divide, in which she plays Manuella, the maid of Steven Ghent (Ian Keith).  Yes, Ms. Loy is a Mexican (with appropriately darkened skin), and she is supposed to be VERY young (I believe 16), but she is quite enamored of Steve. He, however, sees her as a child, and laughs off her advances.  Then, he meets Ruth Jordan {Dorothy Mackaill) and falls head-over-heels.  Only problem is, she is not interested in him. Since she is a brat, and the daughter of a good friend (who is dead), he decides to teach her some manners, so he kidnaps her, and brings her to his hacienda.  Where, of course, she meets our little Manuella.  And here is Manuella BEFORE Ruth arrives, trying her best to seduce Steve:


Given that this film was made in 1929, there is a certain static-ness to the proceedings, and Keith is a bit stiff, but Loy and Mackaill (who we all like very much.  See our blog post about Love Affair) are lots of fun, especially when sniping at one another.  

This isn't a great movie, but getting to see Loy in her exotic period is a enjoyable. When you think that this is the future Nora Charles and Milly Stephenson, one is even more impressed by her fabulous range as an actress.

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