Howard Hawks

Sog.: Harry Carr; Scen.: William M. Conselman, Seton I. Miller; F.: L. William O’Connell; Mo.: Ralph Dixon; Scgf.: William S. Darling; Int.: George O’Brien (Michael, il principe ereditario), Virginia Valli (Dolores), J.Farrell MacDonald (Peter L. Roberts), Thomas Jefferson (Leopoldo III, Re di San Savona), William Powell (Principe Eric, nipote del re), Merta Sterling (cameriera di Dolores), Hank Mann (servitore di Michael), Francis MacDonald (Pierre); Prod.: William Fox per Fox Film Corporation; Pri. pro.: 15 maggio 1927 35mm. L.: 2030 m. D.: 74′ a 24 f/s. Bn/Col

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Paid to Love is a Ruritanian romantic comedy, again with a familiar plot. (…) Hawks has disowned the film (…). Despite this, the film is a polished, assured and very fluid work, hampered by the over-familiar plot, but showing the director engaging for the first time in technical experimentation. Under the admitted influence of Murnau, Hawks liberates his camera and, in contrast to the static nature of his previous films, he tracks, pans and cranes, conferring on the action a sinuous mobility. There is one lengthy tracking shot, in which the camera glides through a smoke- filled officers’ mess past chattering officers to rest on the caddish William Powell regaling his cronies with tales of his amorous exploits, which combines a sophistication of form and content not previously met in Hawks’s film. It is lavishly staged with opulent palace sets and a handsome outdoor seashore restaurant. Once again it utilises the talents of George O’Brien whose cheerful car-obsessed crown prince is an engaging character. Virginia Valli is moving and vibrant as the Apache dancer, putting flesh and blood on the bones of a very familiar character of romantic comedy. But the film is stolen by William Powell as the Crown Prince’s lecherous cousin. A Stroheimian cad, monocled and moustache-twirling, he is caught at one point rummaging through Valli’s drawers and delicately sniffing her underwear.

Jeffrey Richards, The Silent Films of Howard Hawks, “Focus on Film”, n. 25, estate-autunno 1976

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