The Red Mill

1927

The Red Mill

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User Ratings: 32
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Movie Info

This lavish adaptation of Victor Herbert's operetta The Red Mill proved to be one of Marion Davies' most delightful and best-received silent vehicles. Davies is cast as Dutch barmaid Tina, who falls in love with handsome hero Dennis (Owen Moore). Alas, Dennis doesn't return her affections, whereupon Tina mounts a campaign to win his heart while simultaneously smoothing the romantic path for her friends, burgomeister's daughter Gretchen (Louise Fazenda) and army captain Jacob (Karl Dane). There's a bit of comic suspense when Tina disguised for plot purposes as Gretchen is accidentally locked in the titular mill, which is rumored to be haunted, but she manages to escape in time for a happy denouement. Beyond its romantic trappings, The Red Mill is full of wonderful slapstick moments, notably an opening scene in which the heroine tries her luck on ice skates, only to wind up covered in snow from head to foot. The film was directed by one "William Goodrich", actually a pseudonym for rotund comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, whose film career had been destroyed five years earlier in the wake of a messy scandal (Davies was endeavoring to help Arbuckle make a comeback even though her publisher boyfriend William Randolph Hearst had been largely responsible for his downfall!) It has long been assumed that the public was totally unaware that Goodrich and Arbuckle were one in the same, but contemporary reviews of The Red Mill indicate that William Goodrich's true identity was an open secret. (Silent-Film)

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Critic Reviews for The Red Mill

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Audience Reviews for The Red Mill

  • Nov 29, 2017
    Marion Davies may not have the highest comedic talent in this film, but she does have a certain girl-next-door appeal, and 'Red Mill' was reasonably entertaining. She plays a Dutch servant who is used cruelly by her boss, a tavern owner played by George Siegmann with appropriate snarl and meanness. In one scene, he's dragging her near-frozen body along the ice back to work; in another, he's literally whipping her. She keeps a little ray of sunshine in a pet mouse who lives in a large hole in one of her clogs, and then soon sees and falls for a young man played by Owen Moore. It's not so straightforward, however, in that her identity is confused with another woman (Louise Fazenda), who has her own troubles, being betrothed to an old man but wanting another (Karl Dane). It gets a bit silly and some of the intertitles are oddly worded, but there are some nice scenes at the end in the "haunted" old mill, especially as the chase moves outside to the windmill blades themselves. There is also a brief scene of riches in the imagination of the young lovers which then returns to the present, a touching reminder of what the important thing is in life - true love.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer

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