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The Red Lily (1924)

Passed | | Drama | 8 September 1924 (USA)
Two young lovers escape their past lives to Paris until fate separates them.


Fred Niblo


Fred Niblo (as an original story written by), Bess Meredyth (scenarist)


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Complete credited cast:
Ramon Novarro ... Jean Leonnec
Enid Bennett ... Marise La Noue
Frank Currier ... Mayor Hugo Leonnec
Mitchell Lewis ... D'Agut
Rosita Marstini ... Madame Charpied (as Risita Marstini)
Sidney Franklin Sidney Franklin ... Madame Charpied's Husband
Wallace Beery ... Bo-Bo
George Nichols ... Concierge
Emily Fitzroy ... Mama Bouchard
George Periolat ... Papa Bouchard
Rosemary Theby ... Nana
Milla Davenport Milla Davenport ... Madame Poussot
Gibson Gowland ... Le Turc
Dick Sutherland ... The Toad


In the French provincial town of Vivonne, Jean Leonnec, the son of Mayor Hugo Leonnec, and Marise La Noue, the daughter of a cobbler, were childhood sweethearts, they who are largely oblivious to anything or anyone else around them when they are together in their continued love for each other. His father does not approve of the relationship because of their class differences. When her father passes away leaving her impoverished, Jean and Marise decide to run off to Paris together and get married against his father's wishes. Once in Paris, they are separated out of circumstance, each believing their separation the result of a different reason which may or may not be reality. In addition to searching for each other, they have to survive in unfamiliar surroundings. Beyond actually finding each other, they getting together again as a couple may be affected by their individual experiences in Paris, which fundamentally changes each as a person. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A thread of young love, their only tie to decency; but it was enough to save Jean and Marise in the underworld of Paris. See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

8 September 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Czerwona Lily See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(2005 alternate)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The IMDb credited cast list is based on the 2005 alternate version. That print's credits, however, may have been modified to include Rosita Marstini and Sidney Franklin, both of whom were omitted in the published cast list in The New York Times review of 29 September 1924. See more »


Mama Bouchard: His liver gets worse every day... It won't be long before we go to Monte Carlo together.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2005, Turner Entertainment Company copyrighted an 81-minute version with a musical score by H. Scott Salinas. It was broadcast on Turner Classic Movies in 2006. See more »

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User Reviews

A Beautiful Film Pregnant With Infinite Sadness

In the silent year of 1925, Herr Fred Niblo directed Herr Novarro in "Ben-Hur", a colossal silent film production that made its way into film history for its magnificence and grandiloquence, but just one year before, both director and actor worked together in a modest, small silent film production as magnificent in its way as "Ben-Hur"; you only have to change ancient Rome for Paris and you have "The Red Lily".

"The Red Lily" is a superb silent film that must be recovered from oblivion for the joy of silent fan crowds around the world ( nowadays a more easy task since the longhaired people at "Warner" decided to open up their archive vaults ). The film is a small piece that highlights the virtues of silent cinema in which the complications of human nature play the lead in the film. It's a beautiful and sorrowful love story that defies destiny and moves the audience in an irresistible way.

The love story between the Major's son Jean ( Herr Ramon Novarro ) and the cobbler's daughter Marise ( Dame Enid Bennett ) will have to overcome difficult and terrible circumstances. As a German saying says "when you think that things are bad, they get worse" and that it is what happens during the whole film until a happy ending will finally bring the couple together. Set in French Brittany, social prejudices and an unjust robbery accusation will send Jean and Marise to Paris, a big city where the love of our sweethearts will suffer a terrible turning point in their lives.

Herr Niblo's superb film direction shows the fragility, uncertainty and changeability of the inner human sentiments of our heroes; they will suffer despair and hate, helplessness together in squalid conditions and, worst of all, broken dreams. Jean and Marise suffer their special "Way of the Cross" depicted on the screen by Herr Niblo with a deep, painful sorrow. It's a private tragedy full of deception that rules the lives of our heroes in which it seems that destiny is continuously sneering at them.

Astounding and remarkable is the performance of Dame Bennett in her role of Marise, one of those classical heroines of silent films; her transformation from a mild peasant to a prostitute is brilliant, an excellent example of the greatness of silent pictures and superior actresses, in which a look, a timid gesture, a cry for help, can still move longhaired audiences to trembling even today.

The film is perfectly set in different surroundings; from the Brittany provincialism and their peculiar peasants and prejudices to the Paris slums full of decadent and distinctive characters. Besides exceptional art direction you also have the great cinematography of Herr Victor Milner; it's luminous and hopeful in Brittany and gloomy in the breathless and eternal Paris night, until the finale when the sun will shine again in the broken lives of Jean and Marise.

"The Red Lily" is a beautiful film pregnant with infinite sadness about the fragility of love and life, redemption and forgiveness; a touching film story, a hidden and wonderful silent piece.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must give a bouquet of stinging nettles to a Teutonic rich heiress.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/

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