Best of… Series – 1925 – Lazybones

This review contains spoilers. (2nd paragraph)

Lazybones (Frank Borzage, 1925)

Now here is a Borzage film I can appreciate, and to me it’s his most full and complete film yet. Lazybones doesn’t buckle under its own weight, but it’s also not too simple to be memorable. Luckily, I went into this knowing very little about it outside of the film’s basic setup. Buck Jones does a wonderful job playing the title character, Lazybones, who might be a procrastinator when it comes to household chores, but who has an enormous heart – enough to take in a child when the child has no where else to go. We see Lazybones deal with the gossip of the town, we see him comfort his daughter as she is picked on by fellow students and even parents, and as he allows his daughter’s birth mother one last visit before her death.

As the film continued, I couldn’t help notice how perfect a relationship he had with his daughter. It was all love and roses, and no real conflict. And just as I was wondering if the film packed enough punch to really be memorable, we learn he is falling in love with his daughter. Very heavy stuff for 1925. It’s both heartbreaking and strange watching him deal with the issue and, luckily, there is no dramatic arc involving his love confession (or something similarly cheesy). He deals with his problem, and goes on with life, which is sometimes what you have to do. I’ve said a lot and didn’t even mention the fantastic country setting, and above average way Borzage frames his shots. So, yes, there’s a lot to like here.  9.75/10


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