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Monday, May 26, 2008

NURSE MARJORIE (1920)

A mundane romantic trifle with macabre curiosity value because its director, William Desmond Taylor, may have been murdered by the mother of its star, Mary Pickford wannabee Mary Miles Minter. In the film, Minter has to choose between a stuffy British Lord & the so-called Common Man’s MP. Dad’s plain Irish stock & Mom’s "veddy" British background provide some modest complications to the tepid plot. You see, Minter is a nurse at the hospital where the Common Man's MP goes to cure his incipient squint(?!) and her split attention makes the poor man jealous. Will they squabble or wed? Minter was a cute girl, if a bit low on distinctive personality. And the soon to be murdered Taylor? He's a competent fellow, as you’d expect from anyone who worked successfully in the Mary Pickford unit. Minter couldn't survive the scandal and was whisked off the screen by 1924. She was 22 years old.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: The marvelous book, A CAST OF KILLERS, tells how director King Vidor and silent film comedienne Colleen Moore tried to solve the case fifty years on.

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