March 15, 2017

The Red Mill.

Review #915: The Red Mill.

Marion Davies (Tina), Owen Moore (Dennis), Louise Fazenda (Gretchen), George Siegmann (Willem), Karl Dane (Capt. Jacop Van Goop), Russ Powell (Burgomaster), Snitz Edwards (Caesar Rinkle), William Orlamond (Governor), Fred Gamble (Innkeeper), and Ignatz (Himself) Directed by Roscoe Arbuckle.

Fear not, folks. Spring Break does not mean that Movie Night is on break. Reviews will pick up in the next few days, do not fear. 

The Red Mill was the first feature-length film directed by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, who was working under the alias of William Goodrich due to the Virginia Rappe scandal, in which despite being found not guilty (after two hung juries), his reputation (and his name) had been tarnished. In any case, here's a movie set in Holland. It's not too terribly interesting, but it does have some decent moments, when it lets the players have fun and not go too slapsticky. Davies does a decent enough jobs with reaction shots, even when having to deal with a haunted mill. That, and an ice race. Seeing someone try to ice-skate (albeit with a little bit of help) is a nice little highlight. Moore is tolerable, though Fazenda and Siegmann stand out a bit more, seeming to have a little more chemistry with each other than the main two. The supporting cast is tolerable, with people that you'll recognize if you watch enough silent films, like Snitz Edwards, who hams it up as usual. The plot (adapted from a 1906 musical) gets itself tangled up a bit with romance between numerous characters, but it mostly handles itself without going overlong. Like a good deal of silent films covered on this show, the run-time (70 minutes) helps the film as this could've been a chore if it had been 90 minutes or longer. Honestly, there are better silent films, but at least this one has its moments and scenery along with moderately entertaining inter-titles that make it worth a glance.

Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.

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