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Tomboy Bessie (1912)

Bessie is certainly a terror and manages without much trouble to get into all sorts of mischief. She gets tired of playing alone and schemes to have Andrew, the suitor of her Aunt Cissie, ... See full summary »

Director:

Mack Sennett

Writer:

William E. Wing
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Cast

Cast overview:
Mabel Normand ... Tomboy Bessie
Mack Sennett ... Andrew - the Suitor
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... Bessie's Father
Kate Toncray Kate Toncray ... Aunt Cissie
W.C. Robinson W.C. Robinson ... Secondary Supporting Role
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Storyline

Bessie is certainly a terror and manages without much trouble to get into all sorts of mischief. She gets tired of playing alone and schemes to have Andrew, the suitor of her Aunt Cissie, play with her. Andrew would rebel, but the injunction that he must amuse the kid, Bessie, or get out, makes him consent. The stunts she puts him through make him worthy of the bestowal of Cissie's hand in marriage. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 1912 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released as a split reel along with the comedy Algy the Watchman (1912). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just Starting Out
16 February 2010 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Before he was lured away to produce comedy shorts for Keystone, Mack Sennett served an apprenticeship under D.W. Griffith at Biograph. He worked as actor, writer, crew of the captain's gig and for the last couple of years, as the director of the comedy output. Although these shorts were labelled "Farce Comedy" as they would be at Keystone, they were not the wild burlesque slapsticks that made him famous. Instead, they were more situational comedies, well if conservatively photographed -- although in this one at least, Sennett seems to avoid the famous 'Biograph Right Wall' and frames his interiors with the left wall -- and the characters were usually recognizable, human types, instead of the wildly gesticulating askew images of stage types.

In this one, Mabel Normand plays the title role, a wild child who keeps tormenting people and getting into scrapes. Mack is courting Kate Toncray, who plays Mabel's aunt and William Butler plays Mabel's father and Kate's brother, who tells Mack he may marry his sister if he amuses his daughter. This consists of letting her torment him and of setting a local chicken farmer on them all. The result is amusing but not particularly so.

It would take the wildness that Sennett infused into his own productions, as well as the best editing in the world, which he also had, for his stuff to be really good. In the meantime, this is still interesting, albeit as a transition piece.


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