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Humoresque  /  The Nth Commandment

Humoresque  (1920)
September 13, 2015 - 7:00 pm

 Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Cliff Retallick.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the AFI/NEA Preservation Grants Program

Humoresque  (1920)

Director Frank Borzage scored his first major hit with this Frances Marion adaptation of a story by Fannie Hurst about an impoverished Jewish violin prodigy whose success allows him to marry his sweetheart and move his family out of the ghetto.  When the U.S. enters WWI, however, he joins the fight with tragic consequences—until love shows him the way.

Production: Cosmopolitan Productions.  Distribution: Famous Players-Lasky Corp.; Paramount-Artcraft Pictures.  Director: Frank Borzage.  Based on the story “Humoresque” by Fannie Hurst.  Screenwriter: Frances Marion.  Cinematographer: Gilbert Warrenton.  With: Gaston Glass, Vera Gordon, Alma Rubens, Dore Davidson, Bobby Connelly.  35mm, b/w, silent, 60 min.

Preserved by the Library of Congress

The Nth Commandment  (1923)

Though The Nth Commandment survives incomplete, enough exists of director Frank Borzage’s last film while under contract with William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Pictures for scholar Hervé Dumont to declare “it the first truly Borzagian work.”  Colleen Moore stars as a department store clerk whose decision to marry a withdrawing colleague with tuberculosis, over another dashing, ambitious suitor, leads to a life of hardship and struggle.

Production: Cosmopolitan Productions.  Distribution: Paramount Pictures.  Director: Frank Borzage.  Based on the story "The Nth Commandment" by Fannie Hurst.  Screenwriter: Frances Marion.  Cinematographer: Chester Lyons.  With: Colleen Moore, James Morrison, Eddie Phillips, Charlotte Merriam, George Cooper.  35mm, b/w, silent, 58 min.

Preceded by

The Pitch O' Chance  (1915)

Miraculously, Frank Borzage’s directorial debut, The Pitch o’ Chance—a Western which he also wrote and starred in—survives intact to reveal a filmmaker concerned, at the outset, with the trials and tribulations of young lovers in an uncaring world.

Production: American Film Company, Inc., Mustang Features.  Distribution: Mutual Film Corp.  Director: Frank Borzage.  Screenwriter: Frank Borzage.  Cinematographer: L. Guy Wilky.  With: Helen Rosson, Frank Borzage, Jack Richardson, Lizette Thorne.  35mm, b/w, silent, 25 min.