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WINE
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PRESERVATION STATUS: Lost

Universal Pictures. August 31, 1924 (copyright July 31, 1924; LP20450). Silent; b&w. 35mm. 7 reels, 6,220 ft.

Presented by: Carl Laemmle. Directed by: Louis J. Gasnier. Scenario: Philip Lonergan, Eve Unsell. Adaptation: Raymond L. Schrock. Photographed by: John Stumar.

Cast: Clara Bow (Angela Warriner), Forrest Stanley (Carl Graham), Huntley Gordon (John Warriner), Myrtle Stedman (Mrs. Warriner), Robert Agnew (Harry Van Alstyne), Walter Long (Benedict {Count Montebello}), Arthur Thalasso (Amoti), Walter Shumway (jrevenue officer), Grace Carlisle (Mrs. Bruce Corwin), Leo White (The Duke).

MELODRAMA. Source: William Briggs MacHarg, "Wine," in "Hearst's International (41:8-10, March 1922).

John Warriner, facing financial ruin, accepts the proposal of a bootlegger, Benedict, to underwrite the business of illegal wine-selling. His daughter, Angela, takes up with the jazz set and is caught in a raid, at a cafe owned by Benedict. Her former sweetheart, Carl Graham, comes to the rescue and saves her from notoriety, while the family struggles back to its former respectability following Warriner's prison term. (Information from "The American Film Institute Catalogue of Feature Films".)

(Variety Film Reviews 1921-1925:) "A jazz age theme preceded by a discourse signed with Carl Laemmle's name as to just what Universal's president thinks of bootlggers. The basic idea of the picture has had countless retakes under as many titles, but the outlay of names and the work of the cast gives the film reasonable plausibility for standing as a program leader.

Clara Bow does the giddy flapper who has her head turned by the ball which premiers her social career. Huntley Gordon is the father become bankrupt on the night of his daughter's large evening, and Myrtle Wtedman is the fixing mother who induces her husband to lend his name to a prominent bootlegger and pursuant enterprises in order not to disturb the daughter. Walter Long, as always, is capable, but the story gives him an entrance into the elite circle as a fake count, and while it doesn't necessarily hurt Long, it doesn't do the tale any good. Other characters list Robert Agnew as the young blood attempting to lead the deb astray, while Forrest Stanley is the friend of the family and the ultimate winner of the girl.

The kick evidently was aimed to consummate in the aquatic cabaret on the 12-mile booze limit line. It's a disappointment from any angle. Approach night 'shots' only show skyrockets going up from the ship, there's not one good flash at the floating emporium, and the interiors are distinctly average scens, topped by hundreds of others of the ilk.

Gasnier, for the most part, has kept his players away from becoming overly dramatic, although the story is such as to make this practically impossible at times. Following the financial failure of the father and affiliating himself with the rum runner comes the ultimate temporary blindness of the mother from imbibing in the "hooch," the wayward path the daughter is threatening to succumb to through parental absence and her eventual betrothal to the family friend who has the means to see the entire household over the breach.

Miss Bow is an acceptable giddy young thing, going to the extreme of three different coilffeurs to make it more realistic, while Mr. Gordon and Miss Stedman are outstanding as the parents.

Productionally the home interiors are solid and in good taste, but the roadhouse and boat cafe leave much to be desired.

The film has not body enough to make it a convincing epic in the better houses, although intermediate audiences will undoubtedly go for it, whether they believe it or not."


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