Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

  • The Flapper (1920) - Plot Summary - A silent film I have been looking forward to seeing. Pretty sixteen-year old Genevieve "Ginger" King (Olive Thomas) lives in the small town of Orange Springs, where everyone seems to live an idyllic life - palm trees, croquet on the lawn, boat rides and lemonade with your fella. Ginger's daddy, a stern Senator, thinks she's too wild, so packs her off to Miss Paddle's boarding school for girls in New York. Wintertime, and everyone around seems to be totally into winter sports - sledding, skiing, ice skating, ski jumping, you name it. Ginger, the only school gal seen wearing pants, is soon cavorting in the snow with the other girls. The girls all love an older, handsome "Mystery Man" they see riding by - they figure he must be "notorious, very gay (no - I don't think they mean THAT way), or perhaps an English Lord". Ginger happens to meet up with her fellow from back home (who coincidentally is attending a nearby military academy), braggart Bill E. Forbes, who next day takes her for a horse-drawn sled ride. Unfortunately, he's never handled a horse and the sled tips over, spilling them into the snow. While young Bill is chasing down the horse, Ginger is rescued by - you got it, our Mystery Man, Richard Channing. Well, the mystery of who HE is is never really stated, but it does seem that he's a rich man, and a bit of a perve as he invites youthful Ginger to his Country Club dance. She sneaks out to go, but soon realizes he's really only being kind to a "kid" (hmmm - that's what HE says, I wonder). Ginger later decides to "vamp" him and show she's NOT a kid anymore. She dresses up in a vampire outfit taken from a suitcase she just happens to have full of loot stolen by a girl from her school (introduced as "a moth among the butterflies" at the beginning - no surprise she turns out bad) and a bad man "The Eel" (but I'm not really going to go into the "stolen goods" sub-plot as it was kind of boring).

    Review - Cute movie. This started really, really great - then kind of broke down a bit as it moved into the weird thievery plot. Still, I really thought this was good, with nice photography, including the pretty, snow-covered scenes of New York. It also has rather interesting intertitles that include cute little drawings (a few are even animated). The DVD is from Milestone Films - the tinted print looks great, Olive looks lovely and is full of charm, and the piano music by Robert Israel is terrific. Rating - * 8 to 8.5/10 stars *

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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