His Glorious Night

  • 1929
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Romance

This was John Gilbert's swan song as a movie matinee idol, one most assuredly orchestrated by MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer. A muddled story at best has Gilbert as a swashbuckling captain of royal guards who woos and wins Owen, a princess betrothed to another. The queen does her best to break up the budding romance, but finds Gilbert a determined adversary....read more

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This was John Gilbert's swan song as a movie matinee idol, one most assuredly orchestrated by MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer. A muddled story at best has Gilbert as a swashbuckling captain of royal guards who woos and wins Owen, a princess betrothed to another. The queen does her best to break up

the budding romance, but finds Gilbert a determined adversary. This kind of fragile story of troubled royalty and imaginary kingdoms worked in the silent era, but with the birth of talkies the public wanted substantial story content and intelligent dialog. It got neither here, nor a well-made

film, one where Lionel Barrymore, veteran character actor turned director, uses a heavy hand with limp material. The dialog was so stilted and the story so corny that audiences first seeing this film threw rotten eggs and tomatoes at the screen. Worse, they laughed at the great John Gilbert whose

voice sounded off-key, high, and decidedly unromantic. It was long felt that MGM could have fixed up the sound of Gilbert's voice so that it was acceptable but Louis B. Mayer, MGM's autocratic boss, hated Gilbert so much that he wanted to ruin his career. Gilbert and Mayer had had violent quarrels

over the actor's drinking bouts and his attitude toward women, which Mayer interpreted as disrespectful. Some even went so far as to claim that Mayer ordered Gilbert's voice distorted on the sound track of HIS GLORIOUS NIGHT so that it sounded effeminate and weak, an excuse to cancel his contract

which had many years to run and was costing the studio millions. Whatever, the great silent star never made a successful transition from silents to talkies and his career soon ended in booze and premature death.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This was John Gilbert's swan song as a movie matinee idol, one most assuredly orchestrated by MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer. A muddled story at best has Gilbert as a swashbuckling captain of royal guards who woos and wins Owen, a princess betrothed to another.… (more)

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