Fun Size Review: The Detectress (1919)

Comedienne and probable Olive Oyle prototype Gale Henry plays a detective trying to get to the bottom of a mystery that centers on a Chinese restaurant.

This film leans heavily into the negative stereotypes that xenophobic people attached to Chinese food at the time. It also features an extremely surreal multi-level set, almost like a side-scrolling video game. In short, an incredibly mixed bag but well worth discussing.

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.

It was all a dream.

Read my full-length review here. I dig into the context of the film and how Chinese restaurants were essential for immigrants who hoped to evade racist immigration bans and reunite with their families.

If it were a dessert it would be: Wax Lips. Not really accurate but worth the conversation.

Availability: Released on DVD as part of the Slapstick Encyclopedia. Some of the online versions I have seen cut out random title cards for heaven knows what reason.


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