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HISTORY

Beyond the Rocks was the only film in which popular silent film stars Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino acted together. According to early advertisements, Valentino's first name was sometimes spelled "Rodolph."
       The opening title cards introduce the following information: “In a sequestered village on the Dorset Coast of England lives the gay and kindly Captain Fitzgerald,on the meagre pension of a broken and retired guardsman.” Intertitle cards also introduce Fitzgerald’s daughters, “Clementine” and “Sarah,” as half sisters of “Theodora” [Swanson’s character], but neither character is identified in the cast.
       The 24 Dec 1921 Moving Picture World announced that Gloria Swanson was filming Beyond the Rocks on Catalina Island, CA. An item in the 28 Jan 1922 FD mentioned that Beyond the Rocks was being shot at the Lasky Ranch on the north side of the Hollywood Hills, where a “country home” was located. (Forest Lawn Cemetery is located there now.) The 17 Feb 1922 Var announced that filming was completed. Elinor Glyn, the best-selling author who wrote the novel, was on the lot and “taking an active interest,” the Mar 1922 Motion Picture News noted. The 29 Jul 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that Gloria Swanson nearly drowned while shooting a scene.
       The film opened in New York City at the Rivoli Theatre. The 19 May 1922 Var reported: "Broadway’s real surprise came in the terrific business which was attracted to the Rivoli last week by the Elinor Glyn story, Beyond the Rocks, in which Gloria Swanson and Rodolph Valentino are the featured players. With almost $30,000 ... More Less

Beyond the Rocks was the only film in which popular silent film stars Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino acted together. According to early advertisements, Valentino's first name was sometimes spelled "Rodolph."
       The opening title cards introduce the following information: “In a sequestered village on the Dorset Coast of England lives the gay and kindly Captain Fitzgerald,on the meagre pension of a broken and retired guardsman.” Intertitle cards also introduce Fitzgerald’s daughters, “Clementine” and “Sarah,” as half sisters of “Theodora” [Swanson’s character], but neither character is identified in the cast.
       The 24 Dec 1921 Moving Picture World announced that Gloria Swanson was filming Beyond the Rocks on Catalina Island, CA. An item in the 28 Jan 1922 FD mentioned that Beyond the Rocks was being shot at the Lasky Ranch on the north side of the Hollywood Hills, where a “country home” was located. (Forest Lawn Cemetery is located there now.) The 17 Feb 1922 Var announced that filming was completed. Elinor Glyn, the best-selling author who wrote the novel, was on the lot and “taking an active interest,” the Mar 1922 Motion Picture News noted. The 29 Jul 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that Gloria Swanson nearly drowned while shooting a scene.
       The film opened in New York City at the Rivoli Theatre. The 19 May 1922 Var reported: "Broadway’s real surprise came in the terrific business which was attracted to the Rivoli last week by the Elinor Glyn story, Beyond the Rocks, in which Gloria Swanson and Rodolph Valentino are the featured players. With almost $30,000 as the grosses, it was decided to hold the picture over.” The second week “drew almost 125,000 on the strength of the notoriety [Valentino] received [because] of his Mexican marriage,” according to the 26 May 1922 Var. For the third week, the film was moved to the larger Rialto. At both theaters, Beyond the Rocks was accompanied with a Buster Keaton comedy short called “The Paleface,” along with performances by opera singers and ballet dancers. The 27 May 1922 Moving Picture World quoted the New York Call as writing: “Everything about [the film] is expensive--gowns, jewels, houses, restaurants, all designed to make people gasp.”
       For many years, the film was thought to be lost, but in Apr 2004 the Nederlands Filmmuseum announced that its staff had discovered original nitrate reels of the picture within a large film collection donated to the museum by a Dutch collector. The picture was subsequently restored, and English-language intertitles were recreated to substitute the Dutch intertitles. The new version was screened in 2005 at the Cannes Film Festival, the London Film Festival, and several other international venues.
       It is available on YouTube in 2016. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
29 Jul 1922
p. 648.
Exhibitors Trade Review
12 Aug 1922
p. 770.
Film Daily
28 Jan 1922
p. 4.
Film Daily
28 Feb 1922
p. 4.
Film Daily
10 May 1922
p. 2.
Film Daily
14 May 1922
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 2004.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Nov 2005.
---
Motion Picture News
Mar 1922
p. 78.
Moving Picture World
24 Dec 1921
p. 941.
Moving Picture World
27 May 1922
p. 4.
New York Times
8 May 1922
p. 14.
Photoplay
Jul 1922
p. 54.
Variety
10 Feb 1922
p. 35.
Variety
17 Feb 1922
p. 41.
Variety
12 May 1922
p. 32.
Variety
19 May 1922
p. 42.
Variety
26 May 1922
p. 36.
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 May 1922
Production Date:
January - mid February 1922
Copyright Claimant:
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
17 May 1922
Copyright Number:
LP17892
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,740
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In a small village on the southwest coast of England, Theodora Fitzgerald marries elderly millionaire Josiah Brown in order to please her father, Captain Dominic Fitzgerald, and her two older, unmarried, jealous half-sisters, Clementine and Sarah. On the couple’s honeymoon in Switzerland, Theodora is taken under the wing of American widow Mrs. McBride, who accompanies her on a mountain climb. When Theodora slips over a precipice while trying to take a photograph, she is rescued by the young and handsome Hector, Lord Bracondale, who earlier, back in England, had saved her from drowning near the Fitzgeralds’ cottage. Fearing her growing attraction to Hector, Theodora flees to Paris with her husband. Hector follows, however, and encounters Theodora in Paris while she dines with her father and Mrs. McBride. The next day, as they tour Versailles while Josiah stays behind at the hotel to rest, Hector and Theodora realize they are in love. Knowing their love is too strong to allow them to see each other as friends, they decide to part. Brokenhearted, Hector asks his sister, Lady Anningford, to befriend Theodora when she returns to England. Lady Anningford invites Josiah and Theodora to her country estate for a weekend house party. Despite his best intentions, Hector again declares his love. Theodora sends Hector a note confessing her feelings, and at the same time sends a note to Josiah saying that she will soon join him in London. Morella Winmarleigh, who loves Hector, sees Theodora drop the two letters into the estate’s mailbox and redirects the letter for Josiah to Hector and the love note intended for Hector to Josiah. After a confrontation with Hector, the elder Josiah decides to sacrifice ... +


In a small village on the southwest coast of England, Theodora Fitzgerald marries elderly millionaire Josiah Brown in order to please her father, Captain Dominic Fitzgerald, and her two older, unmarried, jealous half-sisters, Clementine and Sarah. On the couple’s honeymoon in Switzerland, Theodora is taken under the wing of American widow Mrs. McBride, who accompanies her on a mountain climb. When Theodora slips over a precipice while trying to take a photograph, she is rescued by the young and handsome Hector, Lord Bracondale, who earlier, back in England, had saved her from drowning near the Fitzgeralds’ cottage. Fearing her growing attraction to Hector, Theodora flees to Paris with her husband. Hector follows, however, and encounters Theodora in Paris while she dines with her father and Mrs. McBride. The next day, as they tour Versailles while Josiah stays behind at the hotel to rest, Hector and Theodora realize they are in love. Knowing their love is too strong to allow them to see each other as friends, they decide to part. Brokenhearted, Hector asks his sister, Lady Anningford, to befriend Theodora when she returns to England. Lady Anningford invites Josiah and Theodora to her country estate for a weekend house party. Despite his best intentions, Hector again declares his love. Theodora sends Hector a note confessing her feelings, and at the same time sends a note to Josiah saying that she will soon join him in London. Morella Winmarleigh, who loves Hector, sees Theodora drop the two letters into the estate’s mailbox and redirects the letter for Josiah to Hector and the love note intended for Hector to Josiah. After a confrontation with Hector, the elder Josiah decides to sacrifice himself for his wife's happiness and accompanies an exploration party to Arabia. When his party is attacked by bandits, Josiah is fatally wounded, just before Hector, Theodora, her father, and an escort arrive. Before he dies, Josiah wishes the lovers happiness. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.