waking into a dream journal 12.06.07

this morning's chukka...
the smart set
director: jack conway // 1928
cinema 4 rating for 2nd 1/2: 5 // overall: 6

left this film yesterday at the tail end of a riotous, slapstick-laden dinner party; start this morning inside a melodrama -- did someone switch films on me? -- tommy van buren (played by haines) gets what his drunken, conceited brat is due: his father sells his polo ponies after he is kicked off the u.s. national polo team -- the fifteen minutes at the beginning of this half are full of weeping and worrying on the part of several characters, and if you have seen even one other haines silent, you know this sets up his rise back to the top by film's end -- though i like haines, his character is more haves -- really, they could end the film here and i would feel fulfilled by it -- this half really seems like another film -- the pathos cast by the stable boy and haines over the sale of pronto the polo pony is just a little too over the edge for my taste, though i have seen a lot of silents and realize this is standard for the day -- see, alice day is adorable! she has saved the day! (for now) -- the stable fire sequence is exceedingly well done and exciting for its brevity -- i don't think haines has a stunt double; color me impressed -- interesting how the film uses haines as his own comedy relief through the first half, but then once he has been established as a character on the mend, they switch to a black couple attending the final polo match -- though they are as well-dressed and posh-looking as the rest of the polo crowd, their dialogue and mannerisms are sadly set in the established norm of the day -- (spying two Indian gentlemen crossing the field) wife: "Why am dem extinguished lookin' gentlemen wearin' towels around dere heads?" husband: "Can dey help it if dey all is got headaches?" -- (when Tommy gets to join the U.S. vs. England match) husband: "Wid dat Van Buren playin' de band bettah start playin' ...Gawd Save de King!!" -- final match has some thrilling moments; standard horse moves in the movies, though grabbing the mallet off the ground is pretty sweet -- still want to see a live match... interesting that the USMPA website goes the distance to show the demographics of polo attendees or participants -- at no point does my lowly yearly income even come close to appearing on the page -- six figures only for that lot -- I'd be given the high hat...

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