Marion Davies directed by Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle should have been comedy gold but this Dutch-themed picture trips over its own sabot and never recovers.
Think that flirtatious banter was invented in the sound era? You have much to learn, grasshopper. Silent movies skillfully employed title cards to create witty exchanges between the leads.
Gallows humor wasn’t invented in the sound era. Silent films were more than capable of taking a dark turn, either for a joke or to crank up a scene’s tension.
Some jokes are so appallingly bad that they can only be met with one reaction: sarcastic, stone-faced laughter. And who better to deliver the putdown than Marion Davies, one of the funniest comedians ever to grace the screen?
As you may have noticed, my site has been a bit wonky these past few days. Without getting into too much technical detail, the redecorating that I was doing revealed a pretty huge problem “under the hood” and I have been scrambling to fix it.
Marion Davies is a wacky Dutch maiden who dreams of romance. Of course, everything goes wrong in the zaniest way possible, that’s a given. Owen Moore is on hand as the Irish tourist who wins our heroine’s heart but Karl Dane and Louise Fazenda easily steal the show as the film’s secondary couple.
I was reading through 1927 issues of Photoplay magazine (as one does) and I came across a capsule review for the Marion Davies vehicle The Red Mill.
Here is the interesting part of the review:
Here is a fairly amusing comedy with the star giving a cheery performance of the Holland hoyden. Incidentally, the direction is the work of William Goodrich, who is no other than Fatty Arbuckle under his newer megaphone cognomen.
You see, I always had the impression that Arbuckle’s William Goodrich years were an open secret among Hollywood folks but not known to the general public. The scandal that destroyed his career was a doozy (although the poor man was almost surely innocent). However, here is a mainstream entertainment magazine trumpeting the new identity.
You learn something new every day.