A fresh young beauty becomes an old maid waiting for her suitor to return from the Napoleonic wars. When he returns, clearly disappointed, she disguises herself as her own niece in order to test his loyalty.
Helen Jerome Eddy
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Very enjoyable silent romantic comedy set in Holland which stars Marion Davies as Tina, pigtailed drudge of the Red Mill Tavern - she cleans the floor by skating around with scrub brushes attached to her feet and has a little pet mouse who lives in her wooden shoe. The man who runs the tavern is a real meanie who goes around with a snarl and a whip and likes to lock local boys in the "Haunted Mill". Handsome Dennis (played by Owen Moore), visiting Holland (attracted by the damsels not the dams) along with his valet, is outside skating where Tina observes him through her window, immediately falls for him, and races right out there to meet him! Well, they are soon skating together while she swoons on his shoulder - but he leaves town before anything can come of this, spring comes, and she dreams of love. Meanwhile, the Burgomaster's daughter Gretchen (Louise Fazenda) is being forced by her father to marry the Governor - and is being locked in her room at the Inn until the wedding day. But Gretchen loves another - so to help her out, Tina gets the idea that they should exchange clothes so Gretchen can sneak out to meet her secret love. Misunderstandings ensue when Dennis, now back at the Inn, meets Marion dressed as Gretchen and falls in love with her.
This is a really excellent film - well done and full of charm. There are a number of amusing, laugh out loud scenes in this - Marion Davies has a face full of expression and is really wonderful here. There is one very funny scene when she first meets Owen Moore's character - she enters a skating race which he is judging (with the prize of a kiss for the winner!) and ends up with a face covered in ice (and no kiss - ah). Another funny bit shows her with no make-up as she covers up her face with a "mud massage" which magically comes off to reveal her now fully made-up, beautiful face. Snitz Edwards, who plays the valet, also adds a lot of humor to this - I think he's funny when he's just standing there! This film was very reminiscent to me of the type of film that Mary Pickford might have starred in - so it's interesting that Owen Moore stars in this, Mary's first husband. The version of this as shown on TCM featured a gorgeous clear print with a lot of contrast and a really terrific music score that I loved - I thought the music really helped enhance this film. A romantic, funny, and delightful film.
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