The Cardboard Lover (1928) DVD

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The Cardboard Lover (1928)


 Robert Z. Leonard


 Jacques Deval (play), F. Hugh Herbert


 Marion Davies, Jetta Goudal, Nils Asther 
Very loosely based on the stage play by Jacques Deval, this comedy was largely rewritten to give comedienne Marion Davies a chance to shine, which she does brightly. No one who sees this film can will likely her talent, as tempted as they may be to discount it because of her love affair with newspaper magnate/film producer William Randolph Hearst. Davies plays Sally, a hyperactive co-ed and autograph hunter on a trip to the Riviera. Chasing after any celebrity she can find, she hands her autograph book to a lecherous baritone (Andres de Segurola), who accompanies his signature with a suggestive remark that inspires Sally's haughty indignation. But then she sees Andre, a tennis champ (Nils Asther), and wants his autograph merely because he's "beautiful" (which Asther definitely was). Embroiled in a love affair with the faithless Simone (Jetta Goudal) (one of who's lovers happens to be the lascivious baritone), Andre enlists Sally's help to get him over his infatuation, and she swears to keep him away from Simone even if she has to sock him on the jaw. Although it takes the better part of the film, Sally finally does have to sock Andre on the jaw -- and this winds up cementing their growing romance. Davies had a marvelous talent for mimicry, and in one scene she imitates Goudal's character to a "T." She also has a charming bit in which she disguises herself as a bellhop to separate Andre and Simone. Surprisingly, this delightful film received mixed reviews when it was first released, but its slapstick moments and Davies' unrestrained performance -- both criticized in its day -- help make it entertaining for modern audiences. 

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