Best Romance Movies of 1921
Orphans of the Storm
France, on the eve of the French Revolution. Henriette and Louise have been raised together as sisters. When the plague that takes their parents' lives causes Louise's blindness, they decide to travel to Paris in search of a cure, but they separate when a lustful aristocrat crosses their path.
The Ace of Hearts
A romantic rivalry among members of a secret society becomes even more tense when one of the men is assigned to carry out an assassination.
Sheik Ahmed desperately desires feisty British socialite Diana, so he abducts her and carries her off to his luxurious tent-palace in the desert. The free-spirited Diana recoils from his passionate embraces and yearns to be released. Later, allowed to go into the desert, she escapes and makes her way across the sands...
The Affairs of Anatol
Socialite Anatol Spencer, finding his relationship with his wife lackluster, goes in search of excitement. After bumping into old flame Emilie, he lets an apartment for her only to find that she cheats on him. He is subsequently robbed, conned, and booted from pillar to post. He decides to return to his wife and discovers her carousing with his best friend Max.
That Ice Ticket
An important example of amateur filmmaking during this era, That Ice Ticket was made by Angela Murray Gibson who ran Gibson Studios in the small community of Casselton, North Dakota. Gibson cast community members in her productions, taking on multiple roles herself, writing, directing and acting in the films, operating the camera during filming, then processing the footage and editing the finished picture together. Here she plays a young woman managing multiple male suitors with the "help" of her mischievous kid brother.
In a Mexican border town Arthur befriends cantina girl Poll. She falls for him but he still loves the dancer Rosa. When the cigar Poll gives him explodes and blinds him, Arthur is duped into thinking Poll is Rosa and marries her. When his vision is surgically restored, he leaves for Siam to find Rosa.
Outside the Law
Silent Madden and his daughter Molly have left the criminal underworld of San Francisco thanks to the wise teachings of Chang Low, a Confucian master. But the evil Black Mike Sylva is determined to frame Madden to avenge a mistake from the past…
Mary Maddock works as a seamstress to bring home money while her husband Steve, unemployed, has no real prospects of earning money. Mary's employers, are trying to strike an oil related business deal with a rich man by the name of Nelson Rogers. The deal does not seem to be on the table, as Mr. Rogers is leaving town shortly and does not have the time to work out the details of such a deal. In an order to entice him to stay, Mrs. Mallory - wife of Mr. Mallory who is proposing the business deal - convinces Mary to be her guest at a dinner party with the intent of making Mr. Rogers fall for her and thus stay long enough for Mr. Mallory to make him agree to a business deal.
The Conquering Power
Young playboy Charles Grandet is sent to live with his miserly uncle after his father loses his fortune. He and his cousin Eugenie fall in love, but his uncle sends him away and tries to arrange a marriage more to his liking (and profit!). Will true love triumph?
Ducks and Drakes
A spoiled rich young woman overspends from her parents' savings and ruthlessly vamps on young men that she calls up randomly on the telephone. When her fiancée and his friends get word of this, they hatch a plan to teach her a valuable lesson.
A female centaur enters a clearing in the woods and picks flowers. She is met by a male centaur and the two romance each other. They then seek parental consent for their union. Surviving footage of a now lost film.
Eccentric inventor Charlie Jackson tries to interest wealthy investors in his girlfriend's plan to help children from poor neighbourhoods.
Camille is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand's father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by marrying Armand, she acquiesces and leaves her lover. However, when poverty and terminal illness overwhelm her, Camille discovers that Armand has not lost his love for her.
Soul of the Cypress
Influenced by California Pictorialist photography of the preceding decades, it was in its own day recognized as an avant-garde film, but nevertheless it secured successful commercial distribution.
Three men in London compete for the love of a dance-hall girl.
Robert must avenge his son who was killed in a workplace accident.
The Lotus Eater
Naive Jacques Lenoi marries money-hungry Madge Vance. When Madge realizes he isn't as moneyed as she assumed she turns a cold shoulder to him and he takes off on a balloon trip to China.
The Love Special
Jim Glover is an engineer in charge of constructing a railroad to the sea. He gives the company president Gage a tour of the area of land coveted for its use as a short cut that can save hours on the journey. After the officials visit a recently constructed dam, the train makes a stop in a dull town, and Gage's daughter Laura throws a charity bazaar to combat the boredom. Jim puts together a mock-holdup that saves the event from financial ruin, endearing Laura to him. Later, an accident traps three workers in a cave, and Jim is called away to rescue the victims.
Ladies Must Live
A societal romance drama based on an Alice Duer Miller novel.
Strung around the idea of reincarnation, this film goes back in time to the days of the Spanish galleons and pirates burying their treasure; treasure to be found centuries later.
Eve Orrin is at the mercy of her possessive mother, who has a case of "nerves" every time her daughter tries to show a mind of her own. Mrs. Orrin and her friend, Mrs. Marchant, have determined that Eve will marry Mrs. Marchant's milquetoast son, Henry, and Eve is willing to go along with it just to placate her mother. But Eve herself finally has an attack of nerves, and she falls in love with Doctor Harmon, the physician called in to care for her.
The Devil Within
Director Bernard J. Durning's silent seafaring romantic melodrama
The Women's Political League decides to find a female candidate for mayor and their choice is Kay Gerson who, they figure, will win votes from the men because of her looks. But the town's political boss, Jim Bradley, counters with his own good-looking candidate, Freddy Bleeker, who he thinks will get the women's vote.
Don't Neglect Your Wife
The wife of a prominent San Francisco doctor, feeling neglected by her husband, finds herself attracted to a young newspaper reporter. ...
At the End of the World
This dramatic adventure finds the flirtatious Cherry O'Day as the daughter of the Shanghai saloon keeper Terrence. She works in the dive and entertains the patrons, sending them away after they cease to amuse her. Cherry falls for Gordon Deane, the American writer and adventurer who barely notices her.
The Mistress of Shenstone
The husband of Lady Myra Ingleby is off fighting in the World War. She is devastated when Sir Derysk Brand tells her that her husband has been killed. The War Office gives her the details - Lord Ingleby was killed, not by enemy fire, but because of an error committed by one of his fellowmen, whose name is never to be disclosed. The grieving widow retreats to her Cornwall estate for a rest. Staying at the inn is a man known as Jim Airth, who carries a grief of his own.
Prisoners of Love
Blanche Henry, a vivacious young woman, finds what she believes is true love with a handsome young man, but then learns that he has designs on her younger sister.
Sacred and Profane Love
Carlotta Peel, who though sheltered from the facts of life by her Victorian aunt has acquired some knowledge from indiscriminate reading, meets Diaz, a celebrated pianist, at a concert and spends the evening with him. Later, in London, she acquires fame as a novelist and is followed to France by married publisher Frank Ispenlove, who commits suicide when she spurns him. In Paris, Carlotta finds Diaz a physical wreck from drinking absinthe and devotes herself to his regeneration.
Based upon a description in a film publication, Katherine Van Riper (Clayton) is an extravagant young society girl who is very much in debt, and her wealthy aunts and uncle refuse to give her any money. Katherine is desperate enough that she is considering marrying the wealthy Montee Buck (Hiers), although she is in love with the westerner Tom Jaffrey (Fillmore), who says he is poor. Finally, Katherine decides to sell the famous Van Riper pearls, pay off her debts, and marry Tom. However, upon examination the jewelry turns out to be paste, with her father having sold the genuine pearls several years earlier before his death. Montee is assured by the aunts that Katherine will marry him and tells this to Tom. Tom is about to leave town when Uncle James (Ricketts) steps in and pays off Katherine's debts, leaving the niece free to marry Tom.
The Bronze Bell
In the 1850s, a young prince in India promises his dying father he will lead a revolt against the English colonial masters of India. However, since he is half-European himself, he can't bring himself to do it and flees to America, to live in obscurity. He finds, however, that he can't outrun his obligations
All's Fair in Love
While golfing, Natalie Marshall meets and falls in love with Bobby Cameron, and after a brief courtship they are married. Just as they are about to embark on their honeymoon, Vera, a young vamp with designs on Bobby, presents Natalie with a bracelet and an accompanying note and inscription that arouse the wife's jealousy and cause an immediate break between the couple.
The Primal Law
silent cowboy western starring Dustin Farnum as a rancher whose partner is killed by rustlers. He takes in his partner's young son, and begins to sell his ranch, but the boy finds oil on the land.
Rosa is told by her father that she must marry a man from her own clan. She refuses, and vows to marry the first man she meets. That man is Antonio, who is from a hated clan. Antonio is in love with Rosa, although she hates him. Despite this, she keeps her vow and marries him.
The Charm School
Austin Bevans, a lively car-salesman, suddenly finds himself heir to the Bevans School for Girls. Since Austin feels that acquiring grace and charm are more important to a young girl than acquiring knowledge, academic courses are dropped, and a charm school emerges. He submits to the charms of Elsie, a student at the school, whose grandfather takes him into his employ after a newly discovered will dispossesses him of the school. Elsie resents Austin for accepting a job with those who formerly thought him undesirable, but later she relents and takes him back.
Her Mad Bargain
After the death of her benefactress, Mrs. Beresford, Alice Lambert is evicted by Ruth, Mrs. Beresford's jealous niece; and in despair Alice seeks employment as a model. Her refusal to accept the attentions of Monsieur Armand ends in her dismissal
The Price of Possession
After Jim Barston is mysteriously killed in Australia, his wife, Helen, lays claim to the estate of Gerald Mortimer Barston in England, asserting that her husband was the missing son and heir. In reality, Jim was the cousin of the true heir, who is also named Jim Barston. Despite having no legal proof, Helen convinces the trustees to accept her claim and is installed as mistress of the manor. Jim Barston appears and proves his identity, although Helen initially believes him to be an impostor.
Too Much Speed
Egotistical race-car driver Dusty Rhoades learns that humility pays off even better than acclaim.
When her father, an indigent artist, dies, Sylvia Lacey goes to live with her Aunt Martha and her uncle, Judge Trent, in New England, where she is unwanted and humiliated. Though she and John Dunham, her uncle's young law partner, fall in love, she believes he intends to marry the daughter of a wealthy neighbor.
The Land of Hope
On her journey to the United States, Marya Nisko falls in love with another immigrant, Sascha Rabinoff. Arriving and discovering her sister's poverty, she fails as a lady's maid and then arranges an introduction to a theatrical manager, though Sascha is opposed to her becoming a professional dancer.
The O'Donnells are a typical, everyday family -- Tad (George Hernandez) is a sensible working man, his wife (Fannie Midgely) is a good mother and their daughter Kathleen (Constance Binney) is pretty and innocent to the point of naiveté. Kathleen works in a factory and its owner, Donald Holiday (Warner Baxter), has taken a shine to her. But instead she falls for slick cab driver Harry Stanton (George Webb), who insists, "Honest, kid, you're the only girl I ever loved." Kathleen falls for this, and when her perceptive father makes clear he doesn't approve of Stanton, she moves out on her own.
In the Spanish town of Magdalena live María and her sweetheart, Pancho, son of the governor. When the town is captured by brigands led by Ramírez, the governor is deposed, and Don Domingo Maticas is appointed in his place. Ramón, son of the new governor, becomes infatuated with María. She repulses him, but he is encouraged by her mother.
Rich Girl, Poor Girl
Poor abused Nora runs into privileged bored Beatrice while wandering onto the rich girl's family estate. Both girls notice the uncanny resemblance between each other, so they decide to switch places. However, trouble soon arises for both girls in their new roles.