- 1 hr 57 min
Romola is a historical drama film that was directed by Henry King in 1924. The movie is set in 15th century Italy, under the rule of the powerful Medici family. The story is adapted from the novel Romola by George Eliot, which was published in 1862. The film stars the renowned actresses Lillian Gish and her sister Dorothy Gish, as well as the talented actor William Powell.
Lillian Gish plays the title character, Romola, who is the daughter of a respected scholar named Bardo. Romola is a fiercely independent young woman who is passionate about learning and education. She is determined to carry on her father's legacy and become a scholar herself. However, her father disapproves of her pursuits and insists that she marry the much older Tito Melema (William Powell).
Tito is a cunning and ambitious young man who is eager to climb the social ladder. He ingratiates himself with the powerful Medici family, and soon becomes a trusted advisor to Lorenzo de' Medici (Ronald Colman). Tito is also secretly involved with a scheming courtesan named Lucrezia (Olive Tell), who uses him for her own nefarious purposes.
Romola is repulsed by Tito's opportunism and moral corruption, but she is forced to marry him in order to fulfill her father's dying wish. As Romola and Tito settle into their married life, Romola discovers that Tito has been keeping many secrets from her. She slowly realizes that Tito is involved in a conspiracy against the Medici family, and that his actions could endanger her own family.
The film is notable for its lavish and historically accurate sets and costumes, which perfectly evoke the luxury and grandeur of Renaissance Italy. It was also one of the first films to use location shooting extensively, with scenes filmed on location in Florence, Italy. The film features stunning cinematography by famed cameraman Tony Gaudio, whose use of light and shadow creates a dramatic and atmospheric effect.
The performances in the film are also outstanding. Lillian Gish delivers a powerful and nuanced portrayal of Romola, capturing both her intelligence and her vulnerability. Dorothy Gish is equally impressive as Tessa, Romola's devoted maid who becomes embroiled in the political intrigue of the Medici court. William Powell is chillingly effective as Tito, conveying both his charm and his treachery.
Overall, Romola is a sweeping and engaging historical drama that is full of intrigue, romance, and betrayal. The film is a testament to the enduring power of George Eliot's novel, and to the artistry of the filmmakers and actors who brought it to life on screen.
Romola is a 1924 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.