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The Man and the Moment

Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 8 p.m., Dryden Theatre

(George Fitzmaurice, US 1929, 72 min., DCP)

New Restoration/US Premiere! The Man and the Moment (40% dialog) will pass as light entertainment in the average house. George Fitzmaurice has diluted the Glyn molasses so that the screen version avoids most of the love licorice and dwells on the comedy situations. Only once does the dialog insinuate in a way, boldly subtle and then repeated until even the janitors know it is the sex relation. However, most of the lines get by. . . . A swift novelty of outboard motor polo introduces the chief locale, niche in the West Coast and a yacht. Photography rips the small boats through the water at an innatural [sic],, but audience thrilling speed. The young, reckless and somewhat dumb millionaire provider of the attractions is shown just before he crashes with the seaplane operated by the theme’s eroine [sic],, a young ingenue only a short time removed from her sequestered Nebraskan upbringing, now living with a stern and unsympathetic guardian. Rod La Rocque and Billie Dove play these roles. Fantastic as Miss Glyn has made them, the principals are unable to eliminate a recitation tonality, characteristic of small town stock voices, that creeps into some of the more stereotyped lines. Both players, however, give a worthwhile performance, especially La Rocque. There is too much of the comedy, with the exception of an eye and ear kissing sequence, for The Man and the Moment register anything really hot. The audience knows from the subtitling that Miss Dove as Joan is out of her class with the boozing yacht crowd and that Mike, the supposed philanderer, has really fallen for pure love, after the second half of the first reel. But the whole story satisfies both, and the fans, that conventionalism is the best way to get out of the theatre.” –Variety (1929)

Restored in 2K by Warner Bros. at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory from a 35mm dupe negative nitrate. This feature was thought to be a lost film, it was re-discovered at Cineteca Italiana di Milano, who graciously allowed access to the copy. The Vitaphone soundtrack discs were located at UCLA, and audio restoration was completed by Warner Bros. Post Production Services.