Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
Produced by Mary Pickford
Written by Edward Knoblock
Based on the opera Don César de Bazan
Starring Mary Pickford, Holbrook Blinn, George Walsh, Irene Rich, Snitz Edwards
Cinematography Charles Rosher
Distributed by United Artists Corporation
Release date September 3, 1923
Running time 80 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film, English intertitles
This film is part of our Silent Gems Collection and the DVD is available on Ebay.
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This film is part of our series 'Hidden Gems'. It can be watched by registered users who make a donation. For more details, please click here.
"Rosita" (1923) is a drama and romance included in our program to illustrate the work and contributions of our star Snitz Edwards.
For some reason Mary Pickford did not want this film to be preserved. We are very fortunate that it survived in a Russian archive.
This film was the Hollywood debut of the esteemed German director Ernst Lubitsch. The action takes place in 19th century Spain.
Rosita (Mary Pickford) is a street singer adored by the people. One day the philandering king (Holbrook Blinn) decides to see her personally and verify the reports that she has been insulting him with her songs. Instead of getting angry, the king is instantly infatuated with Rosita, who is then arrested by the king's guards.
As she is being dragged through the streets a young officer by the name of Don Diego (George Walsh) tries to set her free, but is drawn into a sword fight and subsequently is arrested as well. Rosita is impressed with Don Diego's intervention and the two fall in love. Unknown to her, her beau is sentenced to die.
The king is not successful in making Rosita his mistress and feels compelled to give her more and more in the vain hope that she will yield in the end. First he dresses her in expensive clothes and jewelry, later gives her and her family his villa to live in, then even arranges her to marry a nobleman to gain a title and respect.
The last gift comes with a catch, however, as the king orders her to marry blindfold an unknown man before his execution. Rosita disobeys the king's orders, looks at her new husband and is astonished to find out that she married the man she loves. She immediately meets the king and extracts from him a pardon that will save Don Diego's life. However, as soon as she is gone, the king double-crosses her and orders the prisoner executed.
Snitz Edwards plays the little jailer, who is in charge of keeping order in the prison, bringing messages and writing supplies to the cells when needed and delivering food to prisoners before execution. His job offers a few perks as well, such as peeking inside the cells and eavesdropping.
Click to enlarge:
Mary Pickford and Holbrook Blinn
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Below is a short preview of the film.