11 July 2003 | overseer-3
Can't quite decide what it wants to be
This silent film with Mary Miles Minter has an interesting, strangely modern plot and premise. Co-habitation takes place (albeit we are to assume platonically, but it's a big question mark) before marriage between the principal romantic characters, a situation you don't see too often portrayed in early films because of censoring.
Mary plays a shopgirl who falls for a young man despondent over his own character flaws, lack of ambition to succeed, and the poor relationship with his father. He is on the brink of suicide when Mary rescues him and they move in together as friends, becoming emotionally attached along the way. Sounds like a serious premise, but this film detours off into rather routine comedy and slapstick. I think the film would have been better as a drama; Mary and Allan Forrest definitely had chemistry together, and she is quoted as saying in later years that he was her favorite leading man (he was also married in real life to Lottie Pickford, Mary Pickford's sister).
With only a handful of beautiful Mary Miles Minter films left to enjoy however one cannot be too picky. Just be grateful to have it. 90% of silent films made have bit the dust.