Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Raffles (1925) is a feature length silent adventure crime/romance motion picture starring House Peters, Miss DuPont, Hedda Hopper, Fred Esmelton and Walter Long.
The film was directed by King Baggot and produced by Carl Laemmle's Universal Pictures, with a screenplay adapted by Harvey F. Thew from the play by Eugene W. Presbrey and the novel by E. W. Hornung.
Raffles (House Peters) is an English gentleman with a secret life—he is the notorious jewel thief known as "The Amateur Cracksman". While sailing from India to England accompanied by his friend, Bunny Manners (Freeman Wood), it is rumored that the infamous cracksman is aboard ship. Raffles warns a lady passenger to keep an eye on her necklace, which is stolen soon afterward. Although a search reveals no evidence, the necklace is returned upon reaching London.
Lord Amersteth (Winter Hall) and his wife, Lady Amersteth (Kate Lester), are having a party at their home and Raffles attends. Another guest, noted criminologist Captain Bedford (Fred Esmelton), makes the assertion that a very valuable string of pearls cannot be stolen. Encouraged by this, Raffles steals it.
He has also stolen the heart of Gwendolyn Amersteth (Miss DuPont), the daughter of his hosts. Capt. Bedford finally captures him, but he escapes with Gwendolyn's help and they run away to be married. Raffles returns the pearls and promises to retire from being a burglar. Read more on Wikipedia and Silents Are Golden
Lowry refers to this version of the film in a letter to Carol Brown dated April 1926; "carol, I'm beastly sleepy, you're seeing Raffles tonight are'nt you, I hope you have a good time." (Collected Letters Vol 1 Pg. 9).