Evil Mr.Grimes keeps a rag-tag bunch orphans on his farm deep in a swamp in the US South. He forces them to work in his garden and treats them like slaves. They are watched over by the eldest, Molly. A gang in league with Mr. Grimes kidnaps Doris, the beautiful little daughter of a rich man, and hides her out on Grimes' farm, awaiting ransom. When the police close in, and Mr. Grimes threatens to throw Doris into the bottomless mire, Molly must lead her little flock out through the alligator-infested swamp. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Although William Beaudine received critical acclaim both inside and outside the film industry for his direction of this film, for many years a story circulated that star Mary Pickford felt that he was too cavalier about the safety of the actors, especially in a scene where she had to carry a baby across some water filled with alligators (Pickford wanted to use a doll, but Beaudine insisted on using a real baby), and even though the alligators' jaws were bound shut, Pickford swore that he would never work for her or her company as long as she lived. However, cameraman Hal Mohr, who shot this picture, said in an interview that the "alligator incident" never happened. He said that there "wasn't an alligator within ten miles" of Pickford, and that both the alligators and the baby in the film were all dummies because the studio would never have let a star of Pickford's magnitude endanger herself by working with real alligators, let alone allow a baby to go near them. In any case, Beaudine and Pickford did clash on the picture. Beaudine eventually walked off the set and turned the direction over to his assistant, and he and Pickford never worked together again. See more »
Mary Pickford once again shines in this late silent cinematic gem. The somber photography and storyline suggests a strong influence of the then German expressionist movement. A fine production nicely directed by William Beaudine. Still youthful looking, this is I believe Pickfords' last juvenile role and she plays it with that same girlish vitality. One of the finer films of the silent era.
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