Mickey Reviews

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October 7, 2012
Mabel Normand is Mickey, at this point a young woman whose father has died and his best friend has raised her in a mining camp. Mickey is a tomboy causing trouble around the area, a settlement of wooden structures, mainly due to lack of a female role model other than a rather large Native American woman named Minnie. Her caretaker sends her to a family of her relations, a group of sophisticates with more manners than money, who agree only if she works for them as a maid. As the movie plays out you realize that this is a story based on Cinderella, with the gold mine and an old boyfriend playing into the ending. Mabel is not a beauty but she does have expressive eyes and she does the physical comedy required of silent films well. The film has some uneven pacing until the end which becomes enjoyably frantic and it does become somewhat confusing after the first 45 minutes due to the lack of written descriptions, editing, and many of the characters look the same. It is an interesting movie as the humor is more subtle and lacks the slapstick of most from this time period.
February 12, 2006
[left][font=comic sans ms][size=5][color=green][b]MICKEY WAS MADE AT[/b][/color][/size][/font][/left]
[left][/left]
[left][font=comic sans ms][size=5][color=green][b]THE MABEL NORMAND FEATURE FILM [/b][/color][/size][/font][/left]
[left][font=comic sans ms][size=5][color=green][b]COMPANY[/b][/color][/size][/font][/left]



[font=comic sans ms][color=green]The only film made by the [i]Mabel Normand Feature Film Company was[/i] [i]MICKEY[/i] by far[/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]her best film and the best representative of the Mabel persona. [/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms][color=green]In 1916 while Mack Sennett was trying to get out from under the weight of Keystone [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]and the control of the New York Film Company, he developed a strategy to keep [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]making films under his own name and protect Mabel?s career as well. The Mack [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]Sennett Weekly was a trade magazine which he sent to distributors and theater [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]owners and began publishing January 1, 1916. It featured a picture of Mabel as [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green][i]MICKEY[/i] on the front page of each issue until Sennett formed a relationship with [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]Paramount (and Mabel?s name was removed from the header). Mabel meanwhile signed [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]a lucrative contract with Sam Goldwyn which Sennett had helped negotiate. [/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms][color=green]During the production the publicity for the up coming feature was nonstop. The film [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]required its own studio as well as its own production company. For all intents, Mabel [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]actually ran the company and controlled the construction of her studio and it was [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]Mabel who decided on the staff and crew. After a few missteps F. Richard Jones [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]was named director over Sennett?s objections. Mabel was able to surround herself [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]with actors and technicians who she had worked with previously. The production, [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]although rather long and expensive, turned out very successful. By having [i]MICKEY[/i] [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]made at its own studio and having its own production company Sennett could [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]successfully maintain that it was not a Keystone feature and therefore not owned by [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]New York Film Company. Even with the rather strange and convoluted business [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]maneuvers of Sennett, [i]MICKEY[/i] was not shelved because Sennett didn?t think much of [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]the film. Rather, he knew its value as a bargaining chip in setting up Triangle[i]. [/i][/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green][i]MICKEY[/i] was impatiently awaited by everyone and they were not disappointed. [/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms][color=green]Problems arose surrounding the distribution of the film, even this Sennett was able to [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]use to his advantage as part of the publicity campaign. With the public waiting for [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]the advertised feature it was not released until August 11, 1918, even though it was [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]copyrighted February 25, 1918. It was released many times after its highly [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]successful première by different distributors. Even so, Mabel saw none of the [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]millions in profits made by the film. [/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms][color=green]Mabel?s relationship with Sennett had been problematical since they had called off [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]the wedding plans in the summer of 1915 although they continued to work together. [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]Mabel did not return to the Keystone Studio lot in Edendale preferring to work in the [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]East Coast Studio. Sennett continued to protect Mabel and - advance her career [/color][/font]
[font=comic sans ms][color=green]sometimes to his advantage and not hers. [/color][/font]
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