Lucky Star (Borzage, 1929)

Lucky Star (Frank Borzage, 1929)

Well, what can I say about Frank Borzage that I haven’t already? He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite directors, and films like this don’t hurt the cause. Again, Borzage uses Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell to bring to film a hopelessly romantic story. This time, Gaynor plays a younger lady ‘near 18’. And though Gaynor has a young look to her, I had never really noticed it in the past, as she always plays adult roles just fine. But in Lucky Star, she is perfect in a younger role. She is always sweet and innocent but, if possible, she is even moreso here.

Farrell and Gaynor’s characters, Jim and Baa Baa (as he calls her), have an almost father/daughter relationship to start the film. He stands up for her when she’s picked on, spanks her when he finds out she’s stealing, and later teaches her the importance of cleanliness and honesty. Through it all, it’s very obvious they have started to fall for each other. This section of the film is the best as it’s mostly just cute flirtations and interactions. However, because Jim has lost the use of his legs during the war, Baa Baa’s mother wants her to have nothing to do with him. This aspect of the film felt a little dated, and is probably the film’s only flaw. But it sets up the end which (I will keep the details a secret), despite its excessive drama, fits the romantic world of Borzage perfectly (though if this had been my first Borzage, I probably would have hated it).  9.5/10


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