Lucky Star

Directed by Frank Borzage, this mawkish, dated love story (1929) was released by Fox in both a silent and a sound version; for years both versions were considered lost, but a silent print turned up in the 90s. An uneducated farm girl (Janet Gaynor, lively as usual) fights with a utility man (Charles Farrell, boring as usual), then becomes romantically devoted to him after he returns from World War I in a wheelchair. The rustic sets appear to have been redressed from F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise; some of the turgid melodrama seems derived from D.W. Griffith, but not at his best. 86 min. (JR)

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