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‘Britain's Queen of Happiness’: a fairytale ending for silent film star Betty Balfour

Once thought to be lost for ever, the 1923 rags-to-riches story Love, Life and Laughter has been found and restored, bringing Balfour’s magnetic charm to a new audience

“There was once a happy little chorus girl who lived alone in a garret, and there was a lonely boy in the attic above, who wrote tales nobody wanted, except perhaps the girl.” The chorus girl is called Tip-Toes, and she is destined for great stardom. The young man, not so much.

This is the fairytale scenario for a movie made in 1923 by George Pearson, an ambitious, occasionally self-aggrandising British director. It is a scenario that he reprinted in his florid autobiography, Flashback. The cheery chorine was to be played by Pearson’s protege, and one of the biggest stars in British silent cinema, Betty Balfour. The resulting film, Love, Life and Laughter, combines whimsy with realism to tell a story about optimism and ideals.

See full article on The Guardian - Film News