Queen of the Moulin Rouge (1922)

Genres - Drama  |  
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In the wake of several Hollywood scandals -- the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle trial and the still-unsolved murder of director William Desmond Taylor -- film companies were compelled to tone down their more risqué stories. Director Roy C. Smallwood left just enough spice in this feature, based on the musical comedy by Paul M. Potter, to titillate audiences who, no matter what they said, still hungered for a bit of sensation. Tom Richards, a violin student (Joseph Striker), meets Rosalie Anjou (Martha Mansfield) when she dashes into his apartment in her attempt to escape from an Apache (no, not a Native American but a member of the French underworld -- the story takes place in Paris). The pair fall in love, and this does not go unnoticed by Richards' music teacher, Louis Rousseau (Henry Harmon). Rousseau was about to give up on Richards but now he sees an opportunity. In the belief that suffering inspires great genius, he encourages Rosalie to dance at the Moulin Rouge, a notorious cafe, to help pay for Richards' lessons, knowing that Richards will find out. When Richards discovers that his sweetheart has been working at a low-down dive, he denounces her and, sure enough, he puts all his misery into his playing. Rousseau reveals what he has done, and Richards rushes out to find Rosalie, who is about to jump off a bridge in despair. Richards stops her and the couple are reunited.

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Keywords

artist, boss [employer], confession [criminal], love-conquers-all, music-teacher, oppression, student, suicide, treachery