Little Wildcat (1922)

Genres - Drama, Romance, War  |   Sub-Genres - War Drama  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Maybe the reason that Alice Calhoun's name has faded into the far reaches of silent film history is because she was difficult to cast -- she wasn't a winsome, Lillian Gish type ingenue, a glamour girl a la Gloria Swanson, or a lively flapper like Colleen Moore. She earned some attention from her performance in The Little Minister (in a role later made famous by Katherine Hepburn), and she also stands out in this Cinderella story of a girl from the slums who makes good. Two clubmen, Robert Ware (Herbert Fortier) and Judge Arnold (Ramsey Wallace), debate whether it is possible for someone from the gutter to rise above their environment (this theme was actually more popular as a comedy -- The Three Stooges did it in Hoi Polloi, and Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd did it in Trading Places). Although the Judge has his doubts, he allows Ware to save a girl, Mag (Calhoun), from a prison term and take her home. After Ware has gone to work on her, the World War (there was only one in those days) breaks out and she joins up as a nurse. Judge Arnold has enlisted and become a major, and when he is wounded, Mag, now known as Margaret, nurses him back to health. He falls in love with her, never realizing who she really is. But he finds out when the war ends and he returns home. This is one bet he is happy to lose. Incidentally, this was one of many films where Oliver Hardy (pre-Stan Laurel) plays a bit part as a heavy -- both literally and figuratively.

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Keywords

war, doctor/nurse, love, Pygmalion, romance, wager