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No, this lost film has not mysteriously turned up in a meat locker in
Alice Springs, a barn in the Faroes Islands nor even in the Gosfilmfond
Archives, where a mutilated version was used to educate good Communists
on how capitalists try to burn up small babies for profit. Tom Stathes
found a Kodascope copy of the last reel at a flea market.
There was an exciting escape from a fire, some recovered smuggled diamonds and an opportunity for Max Davidson to do some of his lovely pained reaction takes. It looks like a good production and Baby Peggy -- who is still alive and well as of the writing of this review -- remembers the shooting of the fire scene and her unwillingness, despite the urging of the director and her father, to go through the fire. She may have been young, but she was no fool.
So keep on going to those garage sales and flea markets, folks. There are lots of things still missing and maybe we can find them yet.
Adorable five-year-old Italian orphan "Baby" Peggy Montgomery (as
Santussa) sails to America to live with her grandfather, but "The
Darling of New York" innocently becomes involved with the city's seedy
underworld. Universal gave their short star a bigger budget for this
successful feature, which is unfortunately lost. The climactic fire
scene has been preserved, however. We pick up the action with little
"Santussa" being cared for by kind-hearted Gladys Brockwell (as
"Light-Fingered" Kitty). Police raid her gang's hideout and a fire
breaks out. This exciting sequence can be found on Flicker Alley's
"Fragments: Surviving Pieces of Lost Films" (2011) and has been shown
on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). In one of that complication's
highlights, surviving child star Diana Serra Cary aka "Baby Peggy"
recalls how the fire blazed out of control. At age 93, she's still a
***** The Darling of New York (12/3/23) King Baggot ~ "Baby" Peggy Montgomery, Gladys Brockwell, Carl Stockdale, Pat Hartigan
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