Romola is a 1924 American silent drama film directed by Henry King and shot on location in Italy. The film stars Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, William Powell, and Ronald Colman, and is based on the 1863 George Eliot novel of the same name.


As described in a review in a film magazine, a boat approaching Italy is set upon by pirates and Baldassaro, a noted scholar, gives his adopted son Tito a ring that will be a passport with all men of learning. Tito escapes but Baldassaro is captured. Tito reaches Florence at the time that the people incited by the priest, Savonarola, has risen and cast out their ruler, Piero de Medici. Accidentally he aids Bardi, a blind man and noted scholar and is received with honors, finally winning consent to his marriage to his daughter Romola who loves Carlo, an artist. Through the aid of Spini, an adventurer who has become the real power behind the government, Tito rises to the post of chief magistrate. In the meantime he flirts with Tessa, a lowly street vendor, going through a mock marriage during a carnival, which is very real to Tessa, so he installs her in a house. A child is born to them. Tito shows his real nature when he sells the priceless books of Bardi, and Romola leaves him. He issues a decree that means death to Savonarola, but his ambition overleaps itself and he is chased by the mob. Jumping into the river followed by Tessa, Tito swims off, leaving her to drown. After floating downstream, he meets death by drowning at the hands of Baldassaro, whom he has refused to recognize. The dying Tessa urges Romola to care for her baby, and the two finally find happiness with Carlo who has remained faithful to her.

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    contentLocation Italy
    director Henry King
    editor W. Duncan Mansfield
    genre drama
    keywords adopted son blind man capture drown float follow jump learn river set up street vendor win
    musicBy Louis F. Gottschalk
    producer Henry King
    publisher Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    recordedAt Italy
    theme independent