For Fans of Aristocratic Loveliness
Exhibitors Herald reviews the film Lady Rose’s Daughter.
In 1920 Lady Rose’s Daughter was adapted for the screen. The film, directed by Hugh Ford, starred Elsie Ferguson, one of the best-known actors of her day. This positive review, from the August 14, 1920, issue of the magazine Exhibitors Herald, focuses on the skill of its lead actress. The film’s plot seems to stray considerably from that of the novel—adding in an affair and a suicide attempt—making for a significantly more sensationalist story.
OPINION: The fastidious folk who approve the high-class drama with luxurious settings and Miss Ferguson’s aristocratic loveliness will greatly enjoy the screen version of Mrs. Humphry Ward’s book Lady Rose’s Daughter.
Harmonious in every part—in excellent acting, in effective setting, in continuity of events—the picture is decidedly agreeable. Miss Ferguson plays with the dignity and grace that are so characteristically charming in her stage and screen work. She is exquisite to the eye and soothing to the mind, grateful for her finished skill. She is delightful in her triple appearances; as Lady Maude and Lady Rose, grandmother and mother of Julie Le Breton, her important impersonation, and is as interesting in the quaint costuming of the dames of the Victorian era as in modern gowning. She qualifies in all the requirements of the real artist.
David Powell is cast opposite her in the part of Captain Warkworth of the Queen’s Guards, a rake to whom Julie has given the love sought by Lord John Delafield. Both offer commendable characterizations in the parts. Ida Waterman as Lady Henry Delafield is capital, and all characters subdue their playing with just the right shading to contrast the star’s role.
The picture presents the problem of inherited tendencies towards matrimonial mésalliances, and follows the fighting against the bar sinister by Julie Le Breton, to whom a haughty aunt’s continual slurs regarding her heritage offer small encouragement. They drive her ultimately to attempt suicide, but the tragedy ends with the humbling of the attitude of Lady Henry toward her niece and assurance that all will be perpetually rosy thereafter, inasmuch as love has at last led Julie’s heart to meet that of the faithful Lord Delafield.
Settings of the story in the English country home and gardens of Delafield Hall are most attractive. While the dignified tone of the picture is superior to the preference that calls for dash and verve, the patrons who appreciate the refined, quiet play will be enthusiastic over Lady Rose’s Daughter.
SYNOPSIS: Granddaughter and daughter of two matrimonial insurgents, Julie Le Breton has a bar sinister heritage to perpetually battle. In the position of secretary to a haughty aunt of wealth and social position, she attains a popularity distasteful to the latter, particularly when it includes the affections of her nephew Lord John Delafield. He persists in defiance of her wishes and in his love for Julie, who has given her heart to Captain Warkworth, unsuspecting his perfidy and another affair with a mutual friend, Aileen Moffat. Placed in a compromising situation in Warkworth’s apartments after fleeing from the slurs and unfair treatment of Lady Henry, her aunt, Julie gains knowledge of his dishonorable ways, and in despair, rather than follow the dictations of her heritage, seeks to end her life with poison. The police find Lord Delafield’s card in her possession when she is taken by them to the hospital, where she recovers her health, and he comes to offer the faithful protection that ultimately wins her love when the death of Warkworth scatters her last shred of affection for the man she first believed him to be.