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Freckle-faced country girl Mary Pickford (as Johanna Ransallar) is going through that "coming of age" stage; trouble is, on her shabby farm, there are no men to get "boy crazy" over. The married handyman is sent off at the butt of father Fred Huntley (as Paw Ransallar)'s rifle; leaving Ms. Pickford no one to pine for. Desperate, Pickford asks the Lord, " send me a beau!" Then, an entire regimen of young men arrive; they are Great War soldiers, who encamp by the Ransallar farm. The ailing "beautifulest", Emory Johnson (as Frank Le Roy), is sent to recuperate in Pickford's bed. When Pickford prays, the Lord doesn't mess around, obviously. With so many men, Pickford is naturally attracted to others, including Monte Blue and Douglas MacLean. Who will Pickford choose?
"Johanna Enlists" is a near-miss Pickford classic; the star is as delightful as ever, suffering through her "growing pains". William Desmond Taylor, Charles Rosher, and Wilfred Buckland create some wonderful images. Precocious freckle-faced little brother Wesley Barry (as Jake Ransallar) is excellent throughout. Wallace Beery (as Colonel Roberts) appears briefly. The adaptation never really engages, however, after the regimen arrives. The trial is not very captivating; and, there is no real romantic relationship shown between Pickford and any of the men. The "alternate ending" is better; unfortunately, the left intact "Colonel Mary Pickford " scene punctuates the film absurdly.
******* Johanna Enlists (9/15/18) William Desmond Taylor ~ Mary Pickford, Wesley Barry, Emory Johnson
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