Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Beyond the Rocks Poster

This week’s mystery movie was the 1922 film Beyond the Rocks, with Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, Edythe Chapman, Alec B. Francis, Robert Bolder, Gertrude Astor, June Elvidge, Mabel Van Buren (which I’ve been reading as “Martin Van Buren” all week, though the movie isn’t THAT old), Helen Dunbar, etc.

Directed by Sam Wood, written by Jack Cunningham from the 1906 novel by Elinor Glyn.

Beyond the Rocks is available on DVD and via streaming. A video on the restoration of the film is on YouTube. Here’s the AFI entry on the film.

Marquee Display for Beyond the Rocks with Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino
Movie advertising in the early days: A theater decorated its marquee to feature Beyond the Rocks.

Monday was the anniversary of Rudolph Valentino’s death, so I wanted to do one of his films and decided on Beyond the Rocks because it was less familiar than his other movies and because it’s a great example of how a “lost film” was discovered.

The plot is nothing special; it’s rather silly, even for a silent movie: Beautiful girl marries unattractive old man to bail out broke father, then meets handsome young man. UOM arranges to get killed during expedition to ancient Egyptian ruins so BG can marry HYM. But there is Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino.

Exhibitors Trade ReviewExhibitors Trade Review
Oh dear. Exhibitors Trade Review did not like Beyond the Rocks

Time to see which New York Times critic hated it…..

Unsigned review, May 8, 1922:

Gloria Swanson can wear clothes. So can Rodolph Valentino. And the talents of each are given full play in the Elinor Glyn story Beyond the Rocks as it has been screened and brought to the Rivoli this week. Also there is something humanly appealing in the self-sacrifice of an unhealthy and physically unattractive man well passed middle age who realizes that his young wife is in love with a romantic youth and eliminates himself so that she may be happy.

…If you sit through the photoplay, however, you will be rewarded, for after it comes the latest Buster Keaton comedy, The Paleface. It is not as funny as The Boat, but it is funny enough. It restored to life one reviewer who had been reduced to a state of somniferous weariness by Sherlock Holmes and Beyond the Rocks.

Aug. 23, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery fellow.

Update: This is Robert Bolder.

Aug. 24, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Mabel Van Buren.

Brain Trust roll call: Harried Costumer (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest).

To everyone who fell into my little trap (you know who you are): Half-credit.

Aug. 25, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have this mystery woman.

Update: This is Edythe Chapman.

Aug. 25, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have this mysterious woman.

Update: This is Gertrude Astor with Valentino out of focus in the background.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and mystery guests), and Jim Craig (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest).

Half-credit to everyone who fell into my little trap.

Aug. 26, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Aha Thursday,” we have one of the leading lady’s half sisters.

Update: This is Adele Watson.

Aug. 26, 2021, Mystery Photo

And here’s the leading lady’s other half sister.

Update: This is Mary Foy.

Aug. 26, 2021, Mystery Photo

And here’s the leading lady’s father, wearing a marvelous newsboy cap.

Update: This is Alec B. Francis.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery guests and portrait of mysterious leading man hidden in image) and Mike Hawks (mystery movie).

Aug. 27, 2021, Mystery Photo

And for Friday, our mysterious leading lady and leading man.

Update: This is Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s dapper mystery gent) and Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s dapper mystery gent).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1922, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. jeannemariespicuzza says:

    Is it Guy Kibbee in “Rain” (1932)?


  2. Mary Mallory says:

    THE SHEIK and Earl Gordon Bostick, since today is the Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service.


  3. mike hawks says:

    THE SHEIK1921.


  4. Floyd Thursby says:

    “The Sheik”?


  5. Is it Robert Bolder in “Beyond the Rocks,” 1922? (Directed by Sam Wood, based on the novel by Elinor Glyn)


  6. Dan Nather says:

    I’m guessing the movie is THE SHEIK (1921). I’ll have to look up this fellow . . .


  7. Allie says:

    The Sheik?


  8. Mary Mallory says:

    Mabel Van Buren in FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYSE, but there isn’t a man in a pith helmet in the desert, it’s set in Argentina, France, and Germany. If it’s that, Louise Emmons, John George, Noble Johnson, and Steve “Broken Nose” Murphy and Nigel de Bruler all make appearances.


  9. beachgal says:

    Is Tues Irene Rich?


  10. David Inman says:

    So if I would fall into your little trap by guessing “The Sheik,” I therefore guess that it’s “Son of the Sheik”! Or am I underthinking this?


  11. Purple Rose of Cairo??


  12. Gary says:

    Whoever she is she will always be Margaret Dumont to the vast hordes of film buffs.


  13. Mary Mallory says:

    Okay so Robert Bolder on Monday and BEYOND THE ROCKS. You should have gone with FOUR HORSEMEN this week though it is the Centennial of that film. Or picked SON OF THE SHEIK, since that is Valentino’s last film and was becoming a big hit in New York and Los Angeles before he died 95 years ago.


  14. Jim Craig says:

    Robert Bolder in ‘Beyond the Rocks.’


  15. Mary Mallory says:

    Edythe Chapman and Gertrude AStor, with a photo of Rudy on the table.


  16. mike hawks says:



  17. Mary Mallory says:

    Adele Watson, Mary Foy, and Alec B. Francis.


  18. mike hawks says:

    Alec B. Francis is our Thursday gent.


  19. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Alec B. Francis


  20. Mary Mallory says:

    Gloria Swanson and Rudy.


  21. tucsonbarbara says:

    Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino in “Beyond the Rocks.”


  22. beachgal says:

    Beyond The Rocks 1922
    Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino on Fri
    Thurs – Mary Foy and Adele Watson with Alec Francis
    Wed woman #1 is Edith Chapman
    Wed woman #2 is Gertrude Astor
    Tues is Mabel Van Buren
    Mon must be Robert Bolder when he is in North Africa. I couldn’t find the last part of this film to view.


  23. Howard Mandelbaum says:



  24. mike hawks says:

    Rudy and Gloria together for the first and only time.


  25. Benito says:

    For Gloria, perhaps Rudy was a refreshing change from Wallace Beery!


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