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Drums of Love

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Director  D. W. Griffith
Costume design  Alice ONeill
Country  United States
5.2/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Romance
Cinematography  Billy Bitzer, Karl Struss
Writer  Gerrit J. Lloyd
Drums of Love movie poster

Language  Silent English intertitles
Release date  January 24, 1928 (1928-01-24)
Cast  Mary Philbin (Princess Emanuella), Lionel Barrymore (Duke Cathos de Alvia), Don Alvarado (Count Leonardo de Alvia), Tully Marshall (Bopi), William Austin (Raymond of Boston), Eugenie Besserer (Duchess de Alvia)
Similar movies  The Fall of a Nation, Rescued from an Eagle's Nest, A Little Madonna, The Gay Shoe Clerk, The Damnation of Faust, Paperman
Tagline  Based on the Historical Incident of Francesca da Rimini

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Drums of Love (1928) is a silent romance film directed by D. W. Griffith.


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Drums of Love DRUMS OF LOVE 1928 DW Griffith Silent Film Lionel Barrymore

After finding out her father and his estate is in danger, Princess Emanuella saves his life by marrying Duke Cathos de Alvia, a grotesque hunchback. She actually is in love with Leonardo, his attractive younger brother. They already had an affair before the marriage, but continue secretly meeting each other. In the end, Cathos finds out about his wife's unfaithfulness and stabs both his wife and brother to death.


  • Mary Philbin as Princess Emanuella
  • Lionel Barrymore as Duke Cathos de Alvia
  • Don Alvarado as Count Leonardo de Alvia
  • Tully Marshall as Bopi
  • William Austin as Raymond of Boston
  • Eugenie Besserer as Duchess de Alvia
  • Charles Hill Mailes Duke de Granada
  • Rosemary Cooper as The Maid
  • Joyce Coad as The Little Sister
  • Production

    The film was a modernized adaption of a Francesca da Rimini opera. The settings were changed from 14th century Italy to 19th century South America. The film was directed by D. W. Griffith, whose career was in decline. He imposed a happy ending, but this idea was rejected.

    The female lead went to Mary Philbin, who was on a loan from another studio, (Universal). Cinematographer Karl Struss was especially impressed with the actress and tested her two weeks for different wigs. Philbin later called working with Griffith like a 'dream come true'.


    The film was received as one of D. W. Griffith's weakest. Critics agreed that Griffith did not know how to handle the film's theme and story the way Tod Browning could have. Both the critics and the audience agreed that the poor reception was mainly due to the ending.


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