Cottage on Dartmoor Reviews

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rubystevens
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2011
an amazing film!~ i'm shocked i had never heard of this til a few weeks ago. this late silent is easily the equal of anything hitchcock was doing. it's a shame asquith's later work doesn't show the vitality and beauty of this early thriller. beginning with a prison escape, most of the film plays as an extended flashback with extraordinary camerawork and expressionistic shadowplay. loved it!
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2011
COTTAGE ON DARTMOOR: an expressionistic and claustrophobic account of sexual obsession and jealousy, very Hitchockian in the way it deals with the resulting crescendo of suspense, especially in connection with a key throat-cutting in a barber's chair incident. Asquith was a director who grew stodgy as his career entered into the sound era, viz his terribly British adaptions of Rattigan, but the present film (1929) is rather an eye opener. One standout scene is set within a cinema, partly a comment on the imminent and creatively burdensome coming of clunky sound, and which contains an extended eye opening use of editing, cutting about within an audience as the beady-eyed boy friend watches his victims - a bravura sequence which ought to be much better known to cineastes.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2010
"A Cottage on Dartmoor" is a suspenseful and stylish silent movie about the very slight difference between tragedy and triumph. The movie starts on a cold day on the moors as Joe(Uno Henning) is making his escape from prison and towards Sally(Norah Baring) in an isolated farmhouse. In happier times, they worked together in a salon, she a manicurist and he a barber. While there, he had an unrequited crush on her until he finally got up the nerve to ask to her to the talkies but he drops the tickets. Regardless, she is still kind enough to invite him over for dinner at her boardinghouse.
April 21, 2011
Am about to watch this silent classic..and yes, even before watching it I am giving it four stars....because I rarely watch a silent movie I don't completely enjoy! If the status changes after viewing, I'll note it!
April 14, 2011
With the arrival of sound A Cottage On Dartmoor was amongst the last hurrahs of British silent cinema. Anthony Asquith (son of a prime minister) directs this moody melodrama. A tale of love, jealousy and violence. A love triangle set in a hairdressers with two men after the pretty manicurist.

Much indebted to the European style of films of the era, Asquith uses the techniques of German Expressionism to show the shadowy scenes set on the moors. Also the Soviet style of montage and editing is used effectively throughout the film especially during a visit to the cinema by the main protagonists. Ironically the film shown is a 'Talkie' which would of course supersede the silent films. The audience is shown enjoying the latest Harold Lloyd flick (which is shown before the main picture). We only get to see their faces as well as the live musicians, playing along with their instruments and adding to the cresendo of pulsating beats along with the breakneck speed of editing. It's wonderful kinetic scene. If you thought the MTV generation invented epileptic editing prepared to be amazed. The meat and potato of the film is told in an inventive flashback structure.

The film enters into darker territory but my main concern is with the unoriginal story of two men, one a young working class barber, the other an older middle class land owner, who both chase after the young woman. However the visual extravagance and box of directoral tricks used by Asquith more than make up for the weak story. Fans of silent cinema will lap it up.

The acting of the main players is subtle and keeps to the general mood of the drama - No hysterical OTT acting to be found here which can occaisionally marr silent films. Special mention to Norah Baring, Uno Henning and Hans Albert von Schlett. As their Germanic names suggest many European stars of their day featured in British silent films without the worry of their strong accents inhibiting their performances. This would change in the new sound era.

Overall a splendidly stylish treat.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2010
"A Cottage on Dartmoor" is a suspenseful and stylish silent movie about the very slight difference between tragedy and triumph. The movie starts on a cold day on the moors as Joe(Uno Henning) is making his escape from prison and towards Sally(Norah Baring) in an isolated farmhouse. In happier times, they worked together in a salon, she a manicurist and he a barber. While there, he had an unrequited crush on her until he finally got up the nerve to ask to her to the talkies but he drops the tickets. Regardless, she is still kind enough to invite him over for dinner at her boardinghouse.
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