10 April 2002 | tashman
Madeline Hurlock is gorgeous!
Of the four photos I have been able to locate of the actress portraying A SMALL TOWN PRINCESS, Sennett stock company player Madeline Hurlock, not one of them did her justice or even remotely captured the beauty, charm, and dead-pan magnificence of this lady. The four photos present a vamp or an exotic, someone unapproachable, but Hurlock was really doing her subtle best to vamp that 1920s type. The lead, Billy Bevan, is certainly good, and easily carries this detailed, very funny short (set in a small town, and quickly moving on to a Sennett inspired netherworld of Hollywood and of filmmaking), but for me, the revelation was discovering this bewitching, dark-eyed actress. Hurlock was what the Silent's Majority called "the wittiest of Sennett's beauties" and, according to them, she went on to marry famous writers Marc Connelly, and later Robert E. Sherwood (from 1935 until his death in '55). Hurlock herself retired from pictures in 1928, and when you size up her credits, she appeared in only one feature, and the rest Sennett shorts supporting the likes of Bevan, Andy Clyde, Harry Langdon, and Ben Turpin. She worked for a who's who of directors like Roy del Ruth, Lloyd Bacon, Eddie Cline, Del Lord, Harry Edwards, Edgar Kennedy, and some of the pieces she played in were even written by Frank Capra. A lot of beautiful, talented women worked for Sennett, but I never expected to sit up and take serious note of this woman I'd never heard of before seeing her so expertly dead-pan her way through A SMALL TOWN PRINCESS.