A stylish mise-en-scène

Young Romance
R: George Melford. B: William C. de Mille (play and screenplay). K: Walter Stradling. D: Edith Taliaferro, Florence Dagmar, Tom Forman, Frederick Wilson, Al Ernest Garcia, Marshall Mackaye. P: Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. USA 1915

“What might have been little more than a slight comedy-drama of a young impoverished pair pretending to be wealthy socialites at fashionable Newport becomes a gem of humor and adventure thanks to the play by William C. de Mille on which Young Romance was based, and the underplaying of the charming Edith Taliaferro. From her performance in Young Romance, it is obvious that Miss Taliaferro might well have been one of the major actresses of the cinema’s formative years, and one can only wonder why her career was so short and why she has been so long overlooked.”
Anthony Slide

“The shots often have a greater depth-of-field than others movies of the time, and even when they are limited to small stages, the sets are decorated in a very conscious, balanced fashion, presenting a stylish mise-en-scène, appropriate to the sophisticated storyline. The editing emphasizes contrasts and parallels. We see Edith and Tom prepare for their trips in similar tiny apartments, then arrive and move into strongly contrasting hotel rooms – his dismal and small, hers spacious and lovely. Other pieces of editing, such as the Count’s getaway on a train being intercut with Tom’s boat ride to the rescue also show good use of parallelism. We also get close ups, irises, and an interesting overhead pov shot when Tom peers through a hole in his wall to observe the Count’s nefarious actions.”
Century Film Project

>>> George Melford’s The Colonel’s Escape on this site