He’ll get the opportunity to engage in this pastime while touring Ireland with nieces Vera (Harriet Cox) and Caroline (Katherine Perkins); while the three of them are sightseeing, they happen upon Belmore Castle, where an Indian manservant named Sakee (Harry Guy Carleton) spins an intriguing tale to Tidewater. (The nieces, on the other hand, skedaddle and head for the safety of their transport.)
The legend of Benmore is as follows: it’s owned by James R. Claven (Hal Clarendon), who is vying with old friend Captain Bob Lambert (Vernon Steel) for the hand of the lovely and charming Betty Truesdale (Margaret Marsh) at a swanky soiree being hosted by Ma (Grace Bryant) and Pa Truesdale (Charles P. Patterson). Bob has the inside track as far as the further stroll down the aisle goes (he’s popped the question to Betty, and she’s said “yes”), which has put Claven’s aquiline nose out of joint. J.R. tries to dissuade Captain Lambert from marrying Betty by telling him his mother was “a full-blooded Negress,” and Bob’s pretty certain Claven is full of it. So, they decide to settle it like gentlemen: an hour before the wedding, both men sit in opposite chairs…as Sakee lets loose a deadly snake.
|Charles Ogle in Frankenstein (1910)|
The acting in The Phantom Honeymoon is adequate, but no great shakes; Marguerite Marsh (Betty) was a member of the same dynasty that produced Mae and Mildred (Marg was the elder sister), but her career came to an end in December of 1925 when she was felled by pneumonia (Marguerite was Harry Houdini’s leading lady in the 1919 serial The Master Mystery). Variety apparently had trouble finding the vocabulary to praise her performance, observing “Marguerite Marsh is the star of the picture, which is in six reels.” (That’s gonna leave a mark.)
|J. Searle Dawley|
“a limited edition Blu-ray”—the first in what will be many releases from the company (it’s also available on DVD). (The price was right, and I didn’t have to pay extra for shipping.) I’m not sure this is the film I would have chosen for their premiere Blu-ray treatment…but then I’m not running Grapevine. Apart from the wrap-up (and the fact that “Honeymoon” is in the title should have tipped me off to where it was going) it’s not a bad little feature (that snake sequence gave me the willies, because I’m not a snake-lover); so, let’s raise a glass to Grapevine Video—here’s to future… (echo chamber) Adventures in Blu-ray!