Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Happened to Rosa - 1920

Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Victor Schertzinger
Writer: Gerald C. Duffy
Stars: Mabel Normand, Doris Pawn and Tully Marshall
Release Date: December 1920 (USA)
Production Co: Goldwyn Pictures Corporation
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Reincarnation | Disguise
Genres: Comedy
A fortune teller tells a store clerk with a romantic disposition that she was a Spanish noblewoman in an earlier life. The girl begins to live the part of the Spanish noblewoman and romance and comedy ensue.
This 1920 comedy stars Mabel Normand as the dull hosiery counter girl whose life is drudgery. She is told about an occult medium by a customer and decides to go to see what her future will bring. The medium (Eugenie Besserer) tells her the spirit of a Spanish temptress named Rosa Alvaro is trying to enter her spirit. She listens but doubts the old woman, especially when she asks for $5.
Back in her apartment she remembers that her mother had been a Spanish dancer and drags out the old costume. She puts in on and examines herself in the mirror and feels a stir of excitement as she strikes dramatic Spanish poses.
By chance she gets invited to a yacht party where her society column dream man (Hugh Thompson) will be attending. She goes as Rosa and captivates him but knows it's time to go when things get serious so she discards the Spanish clothes and jumps overboard to swim for shore.
After a few more plot twists there is a happy ending. Tully Marshall is the store manager. Adolphe Menjou is a friend of the doctor. Doris Pawn is the roommate.
Normand is quite good and was the leading comedienne of silent films. Her career was hurt by her association with William Desmond Taylor and his famous murder and after 1922 her career faltered. Normand died in 1930.
Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) (Video). Clip shown.

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