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Richard the Brazen (1917)

Richard the Brazen (1917) Vitagraph Co. of America. A Blue Ribbon Feature. Distributor: Greater Vitagraph (V.L.S.E., Inc) Director: Perry N. Vekroff. Scenario: A. Van Buren Powell. Camera: Arthur T. Quinn. Cast: Alice Joyce, Harry T. Morey, William Frederic, Franklyn Hanna, Robert Kelly, Agnes Eyre, Charles Wellesley, William Bailey. 5 reels This film appears to be LOST

Review from Variety
Review from the New York Dramatic Mirror
Review from Moving Picture World

Review from Variety, August 10, 1917

Richard Williams Harry Morey
Harriet Renwyck Alice Joyce
Bill Williams William Frederic
Jacob Renwyck Franklin Hanna
Corrigan Robert Kelly
Imogene Agnes Eyre
Lord Croyland Charles Wellesley
Fritz. George William Bailey

Summing up "Richard the Brazen" as a whole, the main things to recommend it to the film followers is Harry Morey and Alice Joyce, who are well known to the screen through many appearances in Vita subjects. The "Richard, the Brazen" picture is a Greater Vitagraph, but on comparison with other Vitas suffers thereby. To begin with the vehicle did not show the properties to bring out the full pantomimic worth of Morey and Miss Joyce. Again it has Morey in a sort of juvenile role that handicaps his dramatic style and several efforts to make him stand out as the type intended slipped a few cogs. But Morey works hard and is apparently sincere, but the role was as becoming to him as handcuffs on a minister of the gospel wrongfully accused of a felony. Miss Joyce was there on looks, but seemed to have lost a lot of her former animation. At times the film went along interestingly and contained some good climaxes, yet "interior" after "interior" was shot into the proceedings, doing more harm than anything else. There was apparent padding and much of the celluloid could have been chopped without hurting the theme in the main. Photography for the most part splendid and general direction good. The scenario seemed the weakest part of the production. The characters jammed up the plot considerably and there was much call on the imagination.


Review from the New York Dramatic Mirror, July 28, 1917


Five-Part Drama by Cyrus T. Brady and Edward Peple. Featuring Alice Joyce and Harry Morey. Produced by Vitagraph Under the Direction of Perry N. Vekroff.

The Players.--Harry Morey, Alice Joyce, William Frederic, Franklyn Hanna, Robert Kelly, Agnes Eyre, Charles Wellesley, William Baily.

An ingenious plot in which a young Texan assumes the identity of an English peer. The skilful acting of the two principals in roles perfectly suited to their personalities.

"Richard the Brazen" is the romance of a modern knight who has all the flourish and daring of the knights of old, although he happened to be born in Texas in the twentieth century. While traveling with his chum, an English peer, an accident forces him to assume his friend's title, valet and monocle and leads to a meeting with a girl whom he has worshiped from afar in England. He is obliged to court her under false pretenses and the complications growing out of this false situation culminate in a stirring fight with a burglar in which the true state of affairs is revealed and Richard restored to his rightful title as scion of a Texas family.

Much of the action is pure comedy and for the most part very amusing although a few scenes seem unnecessarily dragged out for the obvious purpose of padding. The story is staged against a background of a fine old family estate with unlimited romantic spots for the sentimental scenes in the action. Alice Joyce as the bewitching American girl and Harry Morey as the Texan (alias His Lordship) showed a spontaneous appreciation of the humor in their respective roles. The cast as a whole was excellent.

The combination of Harry Morey and Alice Joyce in these plays of human interest has proved exceedingly popular and this last production, while somewhat lighter than the others, is most artistically presented.


Reviews from Moving Picture World, August 4, 1917

"Richard the Brazen"
Harry Morey and Alice Joyce Featured in Five-Part Vitagraph Blue Ribbon Release that Starts off Promisingly But Is Poorly Directed and Contains too Much Story.
Reviewed by Edward Weitzel.

AN IMPOSING pair of names, Dr. Cyrus T. Brady and Edward Peple, are credited with the authorhship of "Richard the Brazen," a five-part Vitagraph Blue Ribbon feature starring Harry Morey and Alice Joyce. This, however, has not resulted in a well constructed photoplay. They story starts off promisingly enough, but sags in the middle and then introduces a stolen jewels finish, one of the thieves being a gardener's son to whom a cousin of the heroine had written several love letters. The complications involve the hero in the robbery, but the heroine knows the truth and, although she has quarreled with the gentleman, she clears his good name. During most of the action Richard, who was raised in Texas on a ranch, impersonates an English nobleman, but is soon found out, although he has borrowed the real lord's monocle and genuine English valet.

"Richard the Brazen" has too much story, most of it is badly made and very little of it is well directed. Perry N. Verkoff, who had the latter matter in charge, has peculiar notions about handling a society "mob" and the proper method for sustaining the interest in a plot.

The members of the cast worked faithfully to make the picture a success. Harry Morey and Alice Joyce did everything possible with their roles. William Frederic, Franklyn Hanna, Robert Kelly, Agnes Eyre, Charles Wellesley and William Baily constitute the support.

RICHARD THE BRAZEN (Five Parts--July 12.)--The cast: Richard Williams (Harry Morey); Harriet Renwyk (Alice Joyce); Bill Williams (William Frederic); Jacob Renwyk (Franklyn Hanna); Corrigan (Robert Kelly); Imogene (Agnes Eyre); Lord Croyland (Charles Wellesley); FitzGeorge (William Baily). Authors: Dr. Cyrus T. Brady and Edward Peple. Director, Perry N. Vekroff.

Richard Williams, an American, and guest of Lord Croyland, an important agent of the British War Department, sees Harriet Renwyk and her cousin Imogene, American girls, in a London chop house. He becomes infatuated with Harriet.

Croyland receives orders to go to New York to buy munitions, and Richard receives a summons from his father, Bill Williams, a Texas cattleman and financier. The elder Williams, although the son is unaware of it, has been involved in business with Jacob Renwyk, father of Harriet. The two partners fall out over the contract that Croyland is to place in America, and each determines to get it for himself.

In New York, Croyland and Richard are in an automobile accident, his lordship being injured, while Richard escapes. Croyland gives the police Richard's name as his own. He asks Richard to go to Renwyk, to whom he has sent letters of introduction, and explain his inability to call. Renwyk mistakes Richard for the real Lord, and he, meeting Harriet, brazenly accepts the role. He woos Harriet, and her father woos the contract.

Richard leans that Renwyk's plan is to beat the elder Williams, and he contrives to evade the issue. He has borrowed Lord Croyland's English valet. Two people penetrate Richard's disguise, Harriet and Corrigan, a canny relative of her father. Neither, however, reveals the secret.

A former admirer of Imogene threatens her if she does not buy back letters she had written him. She confides in Harriet, and at an appointed tine the blackmailer, FitzGeorge, comes to collect his toll. While he is holding up Imogene, his confederate takes the diamonds from the Renwyk safe. The burglar gets out of the house, but Corrigan, who had seen him climbing out of the window, overpowers him.

Meantime, Richard has come downstairs and hears a heated argument between the two women and FitzGeorge. He imagines that Harriet is guilty of a clandestine affair, which impression is increased when Harriet begs him to let FitzGeorge escape. This he does, and leaves the room. Aroused by the noise down stairs, Renwyk comes down, meets Richard, and sees that his safe has been robbed. He suspects him of the crime, and has the police summoned.

The elder Williams arrives from Texas, and resents Renwyk's branding Richard a thief. The two elder men are joined by Corrigan, fresh from his encounter with the burglar. Richard explains to his father why he was in the Renwyk house.

Corrigan hands Renwyk the jewels he recovered from the burglar, and when the police arrive they find the prisoner, and also capture FitzGeorge.

Corrigan then informs Renwyk and Williams that he has been to the hospital and obtained the munitions contract from Croyland, and that he intends to give it to Richard and Harriet as a wedding present.

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Last revised August 27, 2005