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The Red Mill (1927)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 29 January 1927 (USA)
A tavern worker and the daughter of a burgomaster enter into elaborate masquerades in order to win the hearts of the men they love.

Director:

Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle (as William Goodrich)

Writers:

Frances Marion (adaptation), Frances Marion (scenario) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marion Davies ... Tina
Owen Moore ... Dennis
Louise Fazenda ... Gretchen
George Siegmann ... Willem (as George Siegman)
Karl Dane ... Captain Jacop
Russ Powell Russ Powell ... Burgomaster (as J. Russell Powell)
Snitz Edwards ... Caesar
William Orlamond ... Governor
Ignatz Ignatz ... Himself - a Mouse
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Hampton Jack Hampton ... Boy Watching Kite
William White William White ... Boy With Runaway Kite (as Billy Hampton)
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Storyline

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 jodlyn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A vörös malom See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$539,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2006 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an early instance of product placement, the ironing board Marion Davies struggles with comes from a crate clearly marked with "Sears-Roebuck U.S.A." See more »

Goofs

About 45 minutes into the film, after the mix-ups between who Dennis and Caesar are looking at across the courtyard, a dog suddenly appears out of nowhere, tied to the leg of the chair Dennis is sitting on. See more »

Quotes

Dennis: You're like a beautiful ray of sunshine standing there sunburning me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2006, Turner Entertainment Co. copyrighted a 74-minute version of this film, with original music composed by Michael Picton. See more »

Connections

Featured in Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating late silent comedy, directed by Fatty Arbuckle
30 July 2012 | by audiemurphSee all my reviews

This is a mildly astounding film, made by the finest studio (MGM) in a year (1927) by which time silent feature films were incredible works of art; the timing of the actors, cutting, and overall pacing were pretty much perfect; and all of which had to be thrown out and started all over again with the introduction of sound. This film is doubly astounding when we learn that it was directed by Fatty Arbuckle, some years after he (or at least his name) had been banned from movies. Thus we get a 2-part picture: the first third or so focuses almost exclusively on Marion Davies, giving her patient time to explore and demonstrate her comic abilities; the remainder of the picture is given over to plot, with an increasingly frantic and overall quite imaginative screenplay that is quite fun to follow.

The influence of Buster Keaton (old comic partner of Arbuckle) is clearly in evidence in the opening scene: we start with a picturesque vision of Dutch citizens enjoying ice skating on a frozen canal; we cut to a shot of Marion Davies from the waist up, also apparently skating; but as we pull back, we see she is actually "skating" on two scrub brushes that are attached to her shoes, careening around a soapy floor. Very Keatonesque!

More bizarre is the bewildering variety of incredibly fat males sprinkled throughout the film. This includes children: in a scene with a couple dozen Dutch kids, we are treated to a dizzying array of really roly-poly boys. And the diminutive Ed Snitzer is several times comically contrasted to the Dutch bohemoths around him. I wonder what Fatty was thinking here...

Back to Marion Davies. Now I went through a period in my teens when I was infatuated by the Three Stooges. Now, 30 years later, I am astounded to see a silent female version of Curly Howard, fighting for 5 minutes with an uncooperative ironing board, complete with facial grimaces alternating between frustration and joy. Its proto-Curly! And when Davies tries to solve the problem of an uncooperative cow who keeps whacking her in the face with its tail as she tries to milk it, by tieing a brick to its tail, with the predictable result of the cow whacking her on the head with the brick - well this is a specific gag used by Curly and the Stooges in later films. Now I can't prove who copied who, but the connection from early silent comedy (Arbuckle) through late silent comedy (Davies) to sound slapstick (the Stooges) is fascinating.

The only inexplicable thing here is that the Dutch characters speak (through title cards) in English to each other, but because they don't speak English well, their sentences are quite fractured; thus, for example, one girl speaks of having "dislocated" her boyfriend, when she lost him. Get it? If they were meant to be talking in Dutch, the "translations" would be in proper English.

Overall, a fun and intriguing comedy, and smooth as silk.


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