Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

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

  • Mickey (1918) - Plot Summary - Silent romantic comedy, a coming-of-age tale starring Mabel Normand as Mickey, a tomboy orphan who lives at a California gold mine with her guardian Joe, a grizzled old-timer who was her father's partner and old friend. Mickey's a teen who dresses in boys clothes, her hair wild - her dog, cat, and donkey her only friends. The "Tomboy Mine" is hers, but it hasn't paid for many years. The only female in Mickey's life is Minnie, the beefy, pipe-smoking, American Indian housekeeper who lives with them. Joe thinks it's time for Mickey to have some women folk around her, so he writes to her only relative - Mickey's aunt, Mrs. Drake, of Long Island - to ask if Mickey can live with her for awhile. Meanwhile, Mrs. Drake wants her daughter to marry a mine owner named Herbert Thornhill (Wheeler Oakman) for his money. Thornhill travels to his mine to settle some problem over the boundary lines, and by coincidence meets Mickey! She's hiding with her dog under his hotel room bed 'cause an angry storekeeper is out to shoot the poor animal. Seems like Thornhill sees her as a child - but when he spots her skinny-dipping the next day, well, his interest is mighty sparked! Romance blossoms. When Mrs Drake hears Mickey has a gold mine, she's beyond happy to host her in her home. But when Mickey arrives, auntie finds out the gold mine hasn't produced in twenty years and puts the poor girl to work in her house as a maid! But that doesn't stop Mickey from gettin' up to mischief - sliding down stair banisters and trying on her cousin's clothes while a party is going on downstairs. Thornhill arrives back in town and ends up becoming engaged to the daughter when he thinks he can't get Mickey - a climax of the film involves Mickey posing as a jockey and riding in a big race to try to keep her man from losing his bet money (via the shenanigans of a bad man who has also been giving his unwanted attentions to attractive Mickey).

    Review - A charming silent film, lit up by the star quality of Mabel Normand - she has a very expressive face, it's hard to look at anyone else when she's on screen. A melodramatic story with good guys and bad guys, done with a nice touch of humor. This film is very reminiscent of the sort of films Mary Pickford made at the same time, with the spunky tomboy character who is full of mischief but just on the brink of becoming grown-up, especially when she meets "the man". Okay - another of those films where someone becomes engaged to the one they don't love when they think they can't get the one they do love. Why do SO many films have this plot element, often seems unrealistic to me. The version I saw of this was screened on Turner Classic Movies channel and featured a nice music score by Donald Sosin. I liked this! Rating - * 9/10 stars *

    Director: F. Richard Jones and James Young
    Film Genre: Romantic Comedy
    Film Runtime: 74 minutes (TCM)


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RATINGS KEY:

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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