May 28, 2011

90. The Cardboard Lover (1928)

I set out to find this film quite a while ago and when I finally found it I was extatic. And no, not just because Nils Asther is in it, but because it's the only (to my knowledge, anyway) surviving film in which Pepi Lederer appeared. She was a tragic girl who spent far too little time on this earth before her untimely demise at the age of 25.

And now a word of warning: 
This post might have the most screenshots that I've posted so far. 
I'll put the blame on Nils. Cos... well, you know. Because he was such a delight to look at. 
And you don't have to take my word for it, check out this bit that I got from Wikipedia:
So there you go.

And here we go:

Marion Davies (31) as Sally, a student on a holiday. She pulled this specific expression about a million times during the movie, it was a bit irksome but in the end I liked her character a lot. Oh, and Marion also served as the executive producer on this movie, along with her lover, the publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst.

If they'd made this film in Germany, 
Ossi Oswalda would have been just the person to play Sally. 

Pepi Leder as Sally's gutsy friend. 
Marion Davies was Pepi's aunt in real life.

the girls are busy checking in at the hotel when suddenly a pompous guy walks over

the girl gets a certain gleam in her eyes and we'll learn she's a real autograph hound

and write he does, only..'s something so rude that the girl tears the page out and hands it back to the creep

next up there's a whole lot of commotion when a flashy couple steps into the foyer

aka Nils Asther (31) with Jetta Goudal (37), who played the part of a ruthless vamp, Simone

And sadly this is the last that we'll see of Pepi, this is her last scene in the movie. She looks at the glamorous couple along with Sally and the other girls. I wish she'd had more screen time.

having made this vow, Sally begins to pursue Andre, but before she gets to him, she sees the vamp exchanging some inappropriate glances with the creep:

meanwhile, at Andre's suite

Tenen Holtz (51) as Andre's magnificent manservant Albine

and dammit, Andre should listen to Albine

because his not so lovely vampy gal is indeed two timing him with the creep, 
who's singing to her when the phone rings

that explanation doesn't go down very well when mr creep suddenly has a coughing fit

Andre gets suspicious but doesn't say anything

he makes a surprise visit into Simone's suite

uh oh, he catches a glimpse of Creepo from the mirror

He's been trying to sneak out of the room unnoticed

Look, look!
Andre gets fierce:
GrabberRaster 0213

Right on, Andre!

meanwhile Sally's been stalking the suite and waiting for the guy to come out

but alas, the fountain pen isn't working and since the guy is in turmoil, he leaves the girl without an autograph and heads to the casino

but she's determined and "borrows" a car, follows him

Wanting to level with the guy, she tries her luck with the game but not knowing the rules, ends up owing him a deal of money

but she's not that well off so they go over to a private room to discuss the money matter

he spots his vampy lady friend arriving to the casino too

so that's the plan. she becomes his "cardboard lover", so that he can have his revenge on the vamp

but the vamp won't be fooled that easily.

she asks to see Andre in private, by the moonlight.
It doesn't take her long to assure him their love's still going on strong

Sally bribes a bellhop to change clothes with her

cheeky little Sally

the following day Sally goes to check up on Andre again

she sees the huge framed portrait of Simone on a desk and alters it a bit:

Meanwhile Andre has been on the phone to Simone who wants to have a reconciliation. Sally's determined not to let it happen, so she tags along and makes sure Silmone understands Andre's no longer available. All this happens in a nicely shot scene where only the actors feet are shown. I tried to make a gif animation of it but it kept crashing my computer so you'll just have to imagine it for yourselves or watch the film. It's worth it.

But moving on; Andre is starting to regret his deal with Sally and he tries to get rid of her but the girl's determined to keep her part of the deal.

you don't fool Sal

she gets mad at Andre for trying to trick her into believing he's sick, so she takes revenge on him and overdoes the nurse part

she tosses a hot water bottle under the covers

then she wants to stick this strange paper-like thing onto his chest,
I'm not sure what it is but apparently it's supposed to help a sick person.
Any ideas?

 more... more, Andre!

look at him being a grumpy little lord

Sally says she'd better call a doctor just in case and leaves the room

Andre needs help removing the medical sticky thing on his chest
and this causes for my favorite scene to happen:

GrabberRaster 0322

His bizarre expressions actually kind of turn me on.
I might need to have my head checked.

The fake sickness doesn't convince Sally and she decides to stick around to make sure that the guy won't go running back to the shady lady

 priceless stuff!

 Andre is in no mood for stories and wants to go out

 when he tries to help her with the dress they end up tickling each other
and it helps them bond a little

 so they must try it once more


 oh, sneaky

 the phone rings and interrupts them

 she's got him roped in within seconds, once again

 Andre tells Sally that she doesn't mean as much to him as Simone does

 he's walks Sally out and gets ready to meet the vampire lady again


 there's some commotion coming from the bedroom and they turn to watch

 it's Sally, she climbed back in through a window and changed into a dressing gown

 the guy has to separate the ladies

 Simone leaves the house, Andre follows and Sally tries to stop him

 soooo... she socks him on the jaw
but that makes him all mad and he gives her a push

 she falls down and hits her head on the furniture

 Andre panics and rushes over to her


I won't spoil the ending for you.

But I've got a little bonus:
 neither one of these scenes appeared in the film, at least not in the version that I saw

I wonder if they were cut out later on or lost or what?


  1. WoW :) Amazing post lol it took a while to read it lol thanks for posting :)
    Hope you'll have some time to visit my blog

  2. I love your film reviews so much--they always make me want to run out and find copies of these movies so I can see them myself! :D

    Wasn't Marion Davies amazing? I've always been so impressed with what boundless charm and superb comic timing she possessed; I think I liked her best in Show People, but The Red Mill is really great, too. (I'd love to see The Cardboard Lover too, but sadly, Netflix doesn't have it in stock.)

    BTW, I'm the crazed Connie fangirl who commented here before, and with regard to your "looking for" list, have you been to this YouTube channel?

    There are clips from Opium and Carlos und Elizabeth there, as well as Lucrezia Borgia in its entirety (I snagged that DVD as soon as it was released last year!).

    I just thought you might like to know about that, if you don't already. In any case, I'm looking forward to your next review, as always! :) ♥

  3. Anonymous30/8/11

    I love this post, I've read it about ten times. I should have commented earlier but each time I get so caught up in the pictures and then I have run out of time to leave a message.

    Thanks for that gif of Asther getting the plaster ripped off his chest. Would that be a mustard plaster? I think I read about them in books. They were supposed to help colds. BTW, it makes it even funnier if you imagine that being his sex face.

    Off to watch it again...

    BTW, this is from my blog

  4. I love your blog and your love for old films! All the screen shots are amazing!
    I do know where you can view Opium!! If you ever stop by Tucson, AZ, a local rental store called Casa Video has a copy on VHS! Its in poor condition, and the intertitles are in German, but I still watched it! Have you seen Veidt's 'King of the Damned'?

  5. Anonymous20/11/14

    That sticky thing is a mustard plaster. Tell the end there is no way we will ever be able to see it.

  6. Wonderful! How do I get my hands on this movie? Any suggestions on where to find a copy? Thanks!


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