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A scheming promoter and his partner win a beauty contest after submitting a composite photo, convincing a chambermaid to help impersonate the fictional starlet; things go awry when a famed aviator falls in love with the picture.
Tina works as a barmaid at the Red Mill Tavern and is at the mercy of volatile and bad tempered owner, Willem. Dennis is a visitor to the area and Tina soon falls in love with him. Dennis doesn't share her feeling and leaves only to return later on. He becomes interested in Gretchen, the Burgomaster's daughter. However, Gretchen, about to enter into an arranged marriage with the Governor, is in love with Captain Jacop Van Goop. Tina and Gretchen enter into an elaborate masquerade in order to be with the men they each love. Written by
Excellent film. Almost a fairy tale in its story of the downtrodden Tina (Marion Davies) and the her cruel boss (George Siegmann) who tries to keep her from her love (Owen Moore).
Davies is, as always a comic delight as the drudge who works from dawn til dusk. She has a pet mouse that lives in the hole of her wooden shoe. She dares to enter a skating race because Moore will kiss the winner. She wins (thanks to a big dog) but falls into a huge hole in the ice. She has several more adventures that include a haunted mill called the Red Mill before the happy ending.
There's a magical moment when Davies is impersonating Fazenda (so she can see her boyfriend) and decides to try the facial mud on the dresser. Poor plain Tina the kitchen drudge packs on the mud, but when she takes off the hardened mask she emerges as the beautiful (and fully made up) Marion Davies! Only in Hollywood!
Great cinematography and set decoration help make this a fascinating late silent film and a terrific showcase for the marvelous Marion Davies. Moore is also good as "the Irisher." Siegmann was among the best villains in silent films. Excellent comedy support from Snitz Edwards (a favorite of Buster Keaton's) as well as Louise Fazenda and Karl Dane.
A big hit for MGM in 1927 and recently dusted off by TCM and given a new score by Michael Picton. A real treat for Davies fans. And by the way, she plays most of the film without makeup (notice her freckles) but she is just STUNNING in the Irish princess fantasy.
And yes Davies talked William Randolph Hearst (who produced) into hiring Roscoe Arbuckle to direct (as William Goodrich). Davies was one of the most generous and big-hearted women in Hollywood and never forgot a friend.
A real treat!
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