Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

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  • Merry-Go-Round (1923) - Plot Summary - In Vienna before the war, Count Franz Hohenegg (Norman Kerry), the last of his line, meets Agnes (Mary Philbin), the little organ grinder at the merry-go-round located in Vienna's version of Coney Island, the Prater, where the Count and his rich friends are having an excursion one day. He tells her that he works as a necktie salesman, for reasons that can only be because he is engaged to be married to Countess Gisella, who he does not love. The merry-go-round is owned and run by the meanest man in town, Huber, who does things like paw all over Agnes, step on her toe while forcing her to smile and operate the organ at the same time, treats his wife like crap including only allowing her a TINY slice of salami (and the rest for himself, greedy pig!), making Agnes (and her dad too, who runs the Punch and Judy show) work while her mom is on her deathbed a few minutes from death, and lots worse. Meanwhile, at the concession next to Huber's works Bartholomew (George Hackathorne), the hunchback, who loves Agnes. Well, the Count, under the wishes of the emperor, must go through with his marriage, and breaks the heart of little Agnes who DOES find out who he really is. Soon war breaks out, and off goes the Count (and the aging dad gets called too - odd) to the front.

    Review - I LOVED this film - really super. The acting of Mary Philbin is perhaps a wee over the top, but I really did become totally engaged in this story - and, hey, I find that Bartholomew guy to be quite cute - I didn't think the idea of her possibly ending up with him to be a bad thing! Well, anyway. The Image Entertainment DVD of this features a fairly decent looking tinted print, a bit of scratching in some places. I really like the orchestral score done for this which was based on the original 1923 cue sheet. Rating - * 10/10 stars *

    Director: Rupert Julian
    Film Genre: Drama
    Film Runtime: 110 minutes

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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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