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Two lonely people discover short-lived happiness in this silent drama. Jim (Glenn Tryon) and Mary (Barbara Kent) live in the same rooming house in New York City, though they've never met; Jim works in a metal fabricating plant, and Mary runs a switchboard for the telephone company. While both have friends, they both long for something more in their lives. One afternoon, Jim decides to go to Coney Island to see the famous amusement park, and on the bus he spies Mary. Jim finds her attractive, and eventually works up the nerve to introduce himself on the beach. The two discover they share a mutual attraction, and over the course of the day Jim and Mary fall in love, while a visit to a fortune teller suggests to Mary that she's met the man who will become her husband. However, Jim and Mary are separated, and despite their best efforts the two don't know how to find one another again. Lonesome was released in 1929, as silent films were giving way to talking pictures; the picture was originally released silent, though it was soon reissued in a version with sound sequences. … More
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Critic Reviews for Lonesome
Although to a large extent the two characters are basic archetypes, as a writer and director Fejös has a poet's touch when it comes to the details of phrase and gesture.
Lonesome, Paul Fejos's exquisite, poetic 1928 masterpiece about love and estrangement in the big city, deserves to be ranked with The Crowd as well as Sunrise, though it's not nearly as well-known as either.
This was Universal's first sound film with only three dialog scenes (all on the beach).
I don't hesitate to call it a masterpiece -- and the best film I've seen in 2012.
In the end, I'd call Lonesome a truncated masterpiece, with footage rudely added rather than stripped away.
finds an impressive middle ground between the easier pleasures of Hollywood and the more demanding tenets of European art cinema
A mostly-silent film that showcases all the vitality of the late silent era.
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