Judy of Rogue's Harbor (1920)

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Director William Desmond Taylor and his star, the beautiful Mary Miles Minter, returned to familiar ground with this Pollyanna story, almost a remake of the team's previous film, Anne of Green Gables (1919). Minter once again played a hard luck little girl, this time terrorized by a brutal German grandfather (Theodore Roberts) and cheated out of her fortune. But Judy is of the plucky sort, whose positive look on life not only enables her to reclaim the inheritance but also find love with a pleasant young man (Allan Sears). The names of Mary Miles Minter and William Desmond Taylor are forever linked in tragedy. She was apparently madly in love with her much older director, who tried his best to discourage her. But various letters of endearment found in Taylor's possession after his sensational (and unsolved) murder in 1922 reportedly ended Minter's screen career. A surviving publicity still from Judy of Rogue's Harbor seems to tell the story: Taylor is depicted playfully holding mistletoe over Minter's head, making it possible for leading man Allan Sears to steal a kiss. Although smiling pleasantly enough, Minter is visibly recoiling and seeking protection from her dashing but much older director.

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child, escape, exploitation, grandfather, group, orphan, rogue