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JOHANNA ENLISTS (1918)


Guest dredagain
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Minor Pickford film but still a treat as Mary plays Joahanna, a country

girl who prays for a beau only to find an entire regiment of horse

soldiers camping out in a field. They're en route to Europe but have to

lay up because a young lieutenant is ill.

 

Well little freckle-faced Johanna attracts the attention of the

lieutenant (Emory Johnson), the company adjutant (Douglas MacLean), and

a sad-sack private (Monte Blue). The guys jockey for position while

Johanna takes a crash course (via magazines) on beauty (taking a milk

bath in a wooden tub) and grace (dancing around in sheets a la Ruth St.

Denis.

 

Eventually the private strikes the lieutenant and there is a court

martial just before the regiment pulls out. But the officers seem more

interested in which guy Johanna will choose (especially after the

charges are dropped).

 

Lots of nice little touches and bits of comedy. Pickford is of course

wonderful and adds a few surprises like the silhouette of her stripping

and a scene of her in the bath. The guys are all solid. Wallace Beery

has a small part as an officer, and that Wesley Barry as the freckly

little brother.

 

The film was directed by William Desmond Taylor (the famous murder

victim) and based on a story called "The Mobilization of Johanna" by

Rupert Hughes. Frances Marion did the screenplay.

 

The organ music is uncredited but sounded familiar. My DVD has an

alternative ending!

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Sounds like a cute film Ed. I don't believe I've seen any of WD Taylor's work to date although I've learned a lot about him reading Sidney Kirkpatrick's "A Cast Of Killers" a few years back. Kirkpatrick picked up the investigation King Vidor was self-conducting on his own, and from his notes, pieced together a published conclusion that Charlotte Shelby had murdered Taylor. The scandal destroyed the film career of Mary Miles Minter (Shelby's daughter) and tarnished that of Mabel Normand who had just left his bungalow ...

 

It was never really solved but there were several suspects ... And then when Patricia Palmer (aka actress Margaret Gibson) confessed to the killing on her deathbed in 1964, it prompted Vidor to personally start re-investigating the case which had obsessed him since it occurred ...

 

Sorry to go off topic a bit, but that's all I can contribute to your thread ... Nice write-up by the way ...

 

Taylor directed Minter and Jack Pickford a lot it seems ...

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Ya I read that book a few months ago..... very good....

 

I'm mailing you out a JOHANNA copy tomorrow (unless it snows).... I'll be interested to see you you recognize the organ music

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For more in-depth information on the WD Taylor murder, do a Google search for "taylorology". There is a site by that name that has done some very good reseach on the matter (as well as other info on other actors from the silent era. Also, the Treasures III DVD boxed set includes THE SOUL OF YOUTH, an excellent film directed by William Desmond Taylor.

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Right ... Last year, I printed out all twenty-five pages of that taylorology newsletter and it became an invaluable resource for me doing an Olive Thomas project. Bruce Long includes a large number of interesting news and magazine accounts, many about Olive that I read through extensively trying to find some answers about her death myself ... but ... I never actually did ...

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Ed,

 

This is one of the few Pickford features that I have not seen yet. I have been looking for it for a long time though.

 

Hey, I did watch YOUNG APRIL (1926) last night though. I enjoyed it, but there is nothing especially memorable about the movie. I'll post a full review at a later date.

 

The film is sort of a comic reworking of THE MERRY WIDOW, with Bessie Love in the role of reluctant Royalty. Plucked from a Girls School in the States, The young lady is astonished to find out that She is the last of Her Nobel Line.

 

At once dispatched to the Kingdom Belgravia, She falls for a member of the Imperial Guard, though He is actually the Prince Caryl. An absolute Paragon of Irresponsibility, and a notorious skirt chaser! That is until He meets Vicky Sax (Bessie), a young American Tourist. Trouble is He has no idea that She is actually Victoria The Grand Duchess of Saxian, and His betrothed!

 

Smitten with Vicky the Price is determined not to Wed The Duchess no matter what, even to the Point of Abdicating his title! Mis-communication abound as by this time Vicky has learned that her suitor is actually the Price and is looking forward to the union! But is it already to late??? Hey, have to admit this sounds pretty good to me. I'll have to work on that review.

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nope haven't gotten to YOUNG APRIL yet but I like Bessie Love.....

 

JOHANNA is an odd little Pickford film.... she starts out as the country girl and sorta turns into "Little Mary," but not really.... The film was made in 1917 and by the time it got released the war was over so the "recruiting" message was sort of lost.... I didn't understand the "alternative" ending at all and have no idea what I missed.... it looked exactly the same to me..... oh ya and the railroad brakeman who is her "first love" was played by Bull Montana.... scary guy!

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