The Detectress (1919)

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Angular comedienne Gale Henry, the inspiration, it has been claimed, to the comic strip character Olive Oyl, stars in this rare silent comedy as Lizzie, an intrepid amateur detective trailing a stolen prescription for eye-glasses that will enable the wearer "to see what's in chop suey." She is soon aided by drowsy Chinatown policeman Milburn Morante and together they play havoc with Jim Yu Hap Ward and his gang of oriental cutthroats. Along the way, Lizzie enjoys a chop suey that contains more than she bargained for (including a live puppy) and is dunked into a pit of water on more than one occasion. In the end, however, our hapless heroine discovers that she had the prescription on her spinsterish person all along. Restored and released on DVD as part of the Slapstick Encyclopedia, The Detectress was directed and produced by Henry's husband, Bruno C. Becker, for Bulls-Eye.