Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)

  • Lucky Star (1929) - Plot Summary - Silent film about an innocent (and just a wee bit spunky a la Mary Pickford) farm girl named Mary Tucker (Janet Gaynor) who helps on her widowed mother's farm milking cows and driving a cart around town selling the farm produce. The local men who work on the telephone wires see her as an uncombed kid, she's even given a "licking" by handsome neighbor man Tim (Charles Farrell), who spanks her over his knee over a milk sale, as she bites his leg. War is declared and the men go off to enlist - Tim spends a year in France, then a year in the hospital after an accident injures his legs, returning home wheelchair-bound. Little Mary arrives at his house to throw a rock in the window (still remembering the licking) but she's soon called into lonely Tim's house where he quickly befriends her declaring her a "funny kid - a black sheep", and he nicknames her "Baa-baa". Well - he promotes her to come visit him daily, decides to wash her dirty hair with eggs (hey, he didn't even know she was a blonde) - - he even decides to give her a scrubbing, but, oops, finds out she's not quite the "kid" he thought as she's 'most eighteen. Mary buys a new dress for the village dance, changing into it at Tim's house. Love is clearly blossoming between the two, but off she goes, ending up being brought home by local "no good" Wrenn (Big Boy Williams). Wrenn is soon after Mary, his motives dubious at best - Tim proclaims her a "good girl", attempting to protect her from the likes of Wrenn. Meanwhile, mean mama doesn't want her daughter wastin' time on a "cripple", but is just fine with smooth-talkin' Wrenn who convinces mama to push Mary into "marrying" him. Uh oh.

    Review - A lovely, romantic silent film, boosted up by really well done performances by two very likable actors, Janet Gaynor - delightful, wonderfully innocent and sweet (and beautiful too!) - and gorgeous Charles Farrell, nicely matched to her - a great screen love team. Just great chemistry there (okay, I love my silent stars!). The village where they live is picturesque, nicely photographed and atmospheric, the final scenes filmed in a pretty falling snowstorm. The print of this film looked great (on DVD as part of my Fox/Borzage set), the orchestral score by Christopher Caliendo that accompanies the film is well done in parts (some places I thought could have used a lighter touch to the music). Rating - * 9.5/10 stars *

    Director: Frank Borzage
    Film Genre: Romance Drama
    Film Runtime: 99 minutes

Links / Resources


10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

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