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Silent movies relied upon facial exaggeration, and few faces could top those of multitalented Marion Davies, showcased from slapstick to heartbreak to horror in The Red Mill, deftly directed by William Goodrich, alias Fatty Arbuckle. Like Cinderella, barmaid Tina (Davies) toils under her villainous boss at a small-town tavern, where she scrubs floors by strapping brushes to her skates and keeps a pet mouse inside a wooden shoe. Hope and love’s promise beckon in the handsome form of Dennis (Owen Moore), until he falls in love with Tina’s girlfriend Gretchen (Louise Faenda), shackled in a looming pre-arranged marriage. Davies herself lobbied for Arbuckle, blackballed because of an earlier scandal – but as it turns out, an excellent choice for embellishing the hilarious comedy bits and the ensuing tragic scenes at the climax inside the haunted mill.

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WAA79495 Red Mill DVD (1927/Marion Davies) $21.49