Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Lonesome (1928)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Lonesome (1928)

In Hungarian-born director Pal Fejos' silent film (a part-talkie actually) - a heart-warming, sentimental romantic melodrama with a bit of sound (a few dialogue scenes featured synchronized sound), and some innovative effects for the time (three color tinting, superimposition and double-exposure effects, ie, the Roman numerals of an enclosing clock around the female character, experimental editing, and a roving kinetic camera):

  • the opening - shots of the hustle-bustle of New York City, with the title card's statement: "In the whirlpool of modern life -- The most difficult thing is to live alone"
  • the characters of two average, desperately-lonely singles in NYC, who lived in tiny apartments: metal factory worker Jim (Glenn Tryon) and switchboard operator Mary (Barbara Kent); there were contrasting similarities and parallels between their two work-days (and lives), and unbeknowst to them, they lived next-door to each other
Jim with Mary at the Coney Island Beach
  • they casually met on a Fourth of July weekend trip to Coney Island where the two fell in love (during typical activities including a fortune teller, the beach, a photograph booth, a ball-tossing carnival game, a spinning wheel, a fun-house mirror, fireworks, and a roller coaster ride)
  • their dilemma - they became separated during a thunderstorm and only knew each other's first names!
  • the key to finding each other was in the surprise ending -- a 78 rpm spinning phonograph record of Irving Berlin's 1925 hit song Always, played in Jim's small apartment, with the lyrics: "That's when I'll be there, always" (on the soundtrack); it was the tune that he and Mary had danced to in the Coney Island dance hall; the song was heard by Mary in her next door apartment, who pounded on the wall in distress - Jim realized when he entered her place that she was his next door neighbor!
Record Label
Listening Through Wall to Song: Always

The Hustle-Bustle on the Streets of NYC

Mary (Barbara Kent)

Jim (Glenn Tryon)

4th of July - Coney Island


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