Lonesome - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lonesome Reviews

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April 6, 2016
Adorable little movie. Great to see Coney Island, but worth it for way more than just that. Being lonely in the city is apparently as old as cities. Love it.
February 21, 2016
I was pleasantly surprised with this. The sound sequences were pretty laughable but overall this is a nice film with two actors that have noticeable chemistry.
½ January 10, 2016
Paul Fejos shot this film in the silent mode but then it was refashioned: first, with sound effects and music, and then, with three short scenes with actual sound dialogue (thus it is a "part-talkie"). Two lonely people meet at Coney Island on the 4th of July weekend and enjoy a whirlwind day out. Fejos uses superimposition very liberally, both to depict what people are thinking but also just to show concurrent events (and he even overlays a clock to show us that time is passing). Although the early scenes (with the clock) are all drudgery and lonesomeness, once we reach the beach, we are treated to hand-tinting and some beautiful compositions. "Always" by Irving Berlin plays an important role on the soundtrack and in the "twist" ending to the film. Of course, the twist in question is fully telegraphed - when the two young people become separated (and they don't even know each other's last names), we know they will be reunited - but we just don't know how or when. A delight!
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2015
The plot is simple: A boy and girl (both "working stiffs") find innocent love at an amusement park, only to have their new romance threatened by casual circumstance. Nothing too interesting there. What is interesting is Paul Fejos's amazing, shoot-the-works direction, which includes dizzy editing, lots of multiple-image layering and even a splash of color (in 1928!). Definitely a film ahead of its time. The release year is also crucial because this was the transitional period between silents and talkies, thus there are three sound scenes of dialogue squeezed into the action. Some film buffs will say these are unwanted and awkward, but no real harm is done and some necessary plotting is delivered. A magical film, breezing by in under 70 minutes. Why is "Lonesome" so poorly known today?
March 24, 2014
A forgotten classic of the silent era, LONESOME realliy is a one of a kind . I can't recommend this one enough.
½ November 28, 2013
Lonesome is a part silent, part sound film from 1928. Released by Universal Pictures and directed by Hungarian-turned-American director Paul Fejos, the film was very successful, returning its budget and helping to close out the silent era with another classic film. The film is about a lonely young man and a lonely young woman who are working stiffs in a big city, but have no love in their lives. They meet one night at a 4th of July celebration and instantly fall in love, and we see their plight over the course of the evening. There are so many sequences in the film that are remarkable when you consider the technology of the time. There's very experimental editing, certain areas of the frame painted with color, optically-printed shots and free-flowing camera movement. All of these things were unheard of for a basic story like this, and were mainly techniques that were used on bigger and more epic motion pictures. The only thing that really sticks out are the dialogue sequences, which were shot after the film had wrapped. There are three of them in all, and they don't really serve any purpose in the storytelling other than to have some dialogue as to compete with films that had sound. The lines given to the actors are so awful and inane that it sounds like a slapped-together B movie. Worse yet, the film's soundtrack basically stops for these scenes. All of the music and most of the sound effects disappear, making these scenes stand out like a sore thumb more than they already do. So it has problems, but it's still a technical and worth seeing.
September 21, 2013
Much like the two main players in this film, consider yourself lucky if you find this one. Guarantee you'll fall in love with what can be considered motion picture's first ever rom-com 5/5
July 23, 2013
In love with this film.
July 19, 2013
It's technically choppy, but energetic, and although it's rather uneventful it stands as one of the first films to paint the modern landscape of urbanization and alienation.
March 1, 2013
L'histoire est banale: un jeune homme et une jeune femme solitaires se rencontrent lors d'une sortie à la plage, tombent amoureux, passent la journée ensemble, se perdent de vue dans la cohue, puis se retrouvent à la fin en se rendant compte qu'ils sont voisins... Si je me permets de vendre le "punch", c'est parce que le récit n'est d'aucune importance dans le film de Fejos. Son intérêt est purement visuel, c'est un festin pour les yeux. Et avec sa maigre durée de 70 minutes, le spectateur n'a pas le temps de s'ennuyer.

Comme bien des films réalisés durant la transition entre le muet et le sonore, Lonesome explore les nouvelles "technologies" de l'époque. C'est pourquoi on peut y voir deux ou trois scènes parlantes, où les protagonistes se mettent à jaser sans transition. Ça peut paraître un peu bizarre aujourd'hui mais c'était assez commun à l'époque. Quelques scènes en "couleurs" font même une apparition -- j'utilise les guillemets parce que la technologie est encore très maladroite et qu'il s'agit plutôt d'une exploration stylistique.

Ça m'a fait beaucoup penser à la section centrale du chef-d'oeuvre Sunrise de F.W. Murnau. C'est très léger, le genre de film qui se laisser regarder sans effort, sans jamais être plate (même pour un film majoritairement muet). La réalisation est ludique, inventive. Historiquement, le film est d'une grande importance parce qu'il témoigne d'une période transitoire du médium cinématographique. Mais même pour le spectateur moyen qui veut juste passer du bon temps dans son salon, c'est très efficace. Un bon exemple de l'inventivité d'une époque morte.
November 29, 2012
Excellent little (60 minutes long) experimental film. Didn't buy the ending, but other than that awfully enjoyable
½ October 17, 2012
One of the last & most beautiful romance/tragedies of the silent era. This is a stunning film of simply two lonely people who meet at Coney Island have a beautiful connection & are then lost.

The quality of the film alone was fantastic but the acting was sensational & to my surprise the film had three talking sequences between multiple actors.

The artistry in this film was so fantastic & made the viewing experience even that more richer. It is such a touching & tender film that will send your heartstrings soaring, the final sequences of this film are mesmerizing...a seldom mentioned silent film but a true masterpiece.
September 9, 2012
It's hard not to notice the obviously added "talkie" sequences, but all in all this fine late American silent plays like the Coney Island version of the far superior "People On Sunday" created in Germany two years later. Still, a great film full of fascinating photography and super imposition effects.
September 3, 2012
A near-perfect film in my terms. I only realized that after it was over, but I was sure of it. Many people can easily say that it's "cute", but there are so many things that should make you think it's more than that, even for just a standard viewer. Unforgettable imagery, and those talkie scenes were just beautiful. It gets chaotic, but it is entirely controlled, made to be beautiful, and cohesive to the films emotions/actions. During the beginning, I thought it was just going to be a smart, fast-paced, consistent, silent film, which then I already would've liked it. But, I felt oddly connected, with much more of a sense of life than any other silent film. I knew something out of the ordinary was going to happen, and I was right. I loved the Mary and Jim in this film as well. Thank God for Criterion, right?
January 23, 2012
Loneliness, love and loss of love, this was a charming well made story albeit with a predictable (but fitting) ending.
½ July 5, 2010
Sweet, silent romance about the first day in a courtship between two solitary people in the city.
January 31, 2010
One of the pinnacles of silent film.
April 10, 2008
This movie is guaranteed to be horrible so here is some Billy Squire for your amusement:

"Now everybody, have you heard
If you're in the game, then the stroke's the word
Don't take no rhythm, don't take no style
Got a thirst for killin' - grab your vial... "

First person to name that song will get an invisible bowl of rice. Nothing will stifle hunger like Uncle Ben's invisible rice, homestyle.
½ November 13, 2007
Eh. Less good than I was led to believe.
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