In the Vaults #12: Senorita (1927)

(via themave.com)
(via themave.com)

Senorita (1927)

Status: Thought lost for years, a print of Senorita has been preserved in a private collection. There are also rumors that another print is held in a Belgian archive.

Bebe Daniels in disguise (via Tumblr)
Bebe Daniels in disguise (via Tumblr)

Bebe Daniels swung back and forth between comedy and drama throughout her career. By the mid to late twenties, she was making comedies that took a popular adventure plot and reversed the genders: Miss Brewster’s Millions, She’s a Sheik and Senorita. The final title was a version of Zorro with Miss Daniels playing the masked avenger. Miss Daniels got into the spirit of the thing and acted just as Fairbanksian as she could.

As an added bonus, the villain of the film is played by William Powell. In the silents, he was often cast as the sneering baddie.

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Photoplay raved about the film:

The best Bebe Daniels’ feature in years. Bebe masquerades as a boy in order to protect the ranch of her grandfather, Don Hernandez, who really thinks she is a boy. Bebe does a Fairbanks-Gilbert-Barrymore act by jumping through windows, winning numerous duels, swinging from chandeliers and what-not. A rip-roaring, peppy piece — one of the finest of the month.

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Motion Picture News thought the film was fun, though light on plot:

senorita-bebe-daniels-william-powell-1927-07Bebe Daniels got off on a good tack when she frowned up-on those serious stories and decided to cater to satire and burlesque. Take her latest for example It is nothing to make much of a fuss over, but it has its rollicking by-play — all of which is indulged in with a fine zest and spirit by the bubbling Bebe and her assistants.

It may be that the loud pedal becomes overplayed here and there, but no one should carp over this amusing trifle — which has been produced for the one purpose of creating laughter. Bebe Daniels plays a tomboy of the pampas. She masquerades with a tiny mustache and all the native trimmings. And once she starts cut- ting the didoes there’s no stopping her. She must please her grand- father who thought he had a, grandson instead of a granddaughter. Of such stuff is “Senorita “built. To look for the plot you’d have to look in vain. But it does establish that as the leader of one warring family the girl must conquer the enemy. She ends up by fighting a duel.

It is all mad merriment — but done in a refreshing manner by the star who is beginning to give Constance Talmadge a run for her money. It should please the majority of theatregoers.

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This film sounds like an amazing bit of fun.

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