Saturday, May 3, 2014

Romeo Turns Bandit (1910) DVD Review

Romeo Turns Bandit (1910) is a silly French adaptation of Romeo And Juliet, a silent comedy in modern dress which opens with Juliet trying to convince Romeo to jump over the wall to be with her. He finally is able to get on top of the wall, and they share a nice romantic moment before Capulet arrives on Juliet’s side of the wall and scares Romeo away, and then leads Juliet back to their home. Romeo thinks for a moment, then leaps over the wall.

Oddly, a title card then reads, “Montagu refuses to give Romeo his daughter.” Someone clearly screwed up there. Romeo catches up to Capulet and Juliet to state his case, but Capulet is having none of it, and leads Juliet inside. And so logically, as the next title card reads, “Romeo decides to become a bandit.”

He, followed by a young servant (Balthasar?), meets his two friends (presumably Benvolio and Mercutio), and explains the plan. They follow Capulet, sneak up on him in the woods and tie him up.

The next title card reads, “Juliet is kidnapped by Romeo.” Romeo goes to the Capulet mansion, and Juliet comes running down the stairs to meet him. They climb over the wall, then meet Romeo’s friends. Benvolio and Mercutio lead Juliet in one direction, while Balthasar goes back to Capulet and unties him. Capulet then discovers a ransom note. They’ve left Capulet his rifle, which he retrieves and goes home.

Romeo then shows up, pretending not to be involved, and offers to help Capulet retrieve his daughter. They climb a hill, as indicated in the note. The last title card reads, “Romeo’s triumph.” And we see Juliet briefly at the bottom of the screen, and then the film is over. So it seems that perhaps the end of the film is lost.

Time: 6 minutes

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