Glowing with moody natural light, the western Until They Get Me, one of Frank Borzage’s earliest films, is quite uninterested in action and horseplay. Borzage expertly sets up a story about a fugitive (Jack Curtis) pursued by a mounted policeman (Joe King), and he achieves some real poignancy in a scene where Curtis realizes his wife is dead, using repeated, low-angle close-ups to catch a feeling of despair. But Borzage soon abandons plot and becomes devoted to showcasing his leading lady, 16-year-old Pauline Starke, who had just played a concubine in D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance. Starke’s beauty is strikingly modern and she dominates the film with her radiant sexiness. Everyone in the movie is as enraptured with Starke as Borzage’s camera; there’s a furtive erotic jolt in the moment when Curtis yanks off Starke’s tomboy hat and her hair comes tumbling down. Borzage’s heart is truly captured in Starke’s glowingly sympathetic close-up when Curtis’s plight is revealed to her—in this filmmaker’s world, women are in charge, and Starke is his first stirring tribute to his ideal female: feisty, small-framed, and endlessly tender.
- Triangle Distributing Corporation
- 58 min
- Frank Borzage
- Kenneth B. Clarke
- Pauline Starke, Jack Curtis, Joe King, Wilbur Higde, Anna Dodge, Walter Perry
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