Tillie (1922)

Genres - Drama  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Mary Miles Minter -- the most infamous of Mary Pickford imitators -- was at the peak of her popularity when this film was released. It was based on the play Tillie, a Menonite Maid by Frank Howe which, in turn, was based on the then-popular novel by Helen R. Martin. The tale, and Minter's character, are both very much of their era, when the Roaring Twenties were still kicking in and sunny young girls were still feminine ideals. Tillie (Minter) is one such young lady, cheerful and lively in spite of being raised by an austere father, a farmer (Noah Beery). An old lady dies and wills a large sum of money to Tillie, providing that she converts to the Mennonite faith before she turns 18. If she does not convert, the money goes to the woman's nephew. Tillie's father, and the folks around her, all prefer to have the girl under their control and they do everything they can to keep Tillie from discovering the conditions of the will in the hopes that she will lose the inheritance. But a mysterious young man (Alan Forrest) comes to town, and he sweeps Tillie off her feet. They marry, and it turns out that he is Jack Fairchilds, the old lady's nephew, so Tillie gets the money anyway. This picture came out around the same time that director William Desmond Taylor was found murdered in his home. Although Minter was not personally involved in Taylor's death, her name was dragged into the scandal. Contrary to popular belief, the star's career did not immediately come to a halt, but Minter's popularity waned over a period of months and her contract with Paramount was not renewed.

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Keywords

family, oppression, survivor, captive, captor, escape, inheritance, love, one-against-odds, rescue, romance, slavery, suicide