anthony galvin

The Trespasser - A Short Review

By 1929 Gloria Swanson was thirty and had appeared in nearly 70 films, a real star of the silent era. She would make just 7 ‘talking pictures’. The first of which was The Trespasser, a melodramatic morality tale about a strong women who 'gets above her station’ by eloping with the son of a Chicago tycoon, becoming a working mother and then having an affair with her boss.

This film doesn’t provide any clues as to why Swanson’s career stalled with the introduction of sound. It’s a meaty role, she commands the screen and was nominated for an oscar for an excellent performance. The film, which she bankrolled, is no masterpiece but an entertaining piece that’s typical of it’s time with a feel good happy ending a hearty helping of moral certainty. Despite this there’s some good ground covered here. Whilst some of the acting is a little 'mannered’, there’s a real insight into how openly class ridden America was in the early twentieth century.

An excellent restored print, the convivial BFI atmosphere and an engaging introduction by archivist Clyde Jeavons. A good way to end an interesting LFF for 2008.

#film #arts #review

2008-11-02 20:17:00 GMT permalink