Head over Heels (1922)

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The Goldwyn studios had apparently been hanging onto this Mabel Normand comedy for quite a while -- by the time it was released, she was already back making pictures for Mack Sennett. Considering the jumbled mess that reached the theaters, the studio may have had good reason to hide it away. Normand herself appears drawn, which didn't help squash rumors that she had been using drugs (one of the unproven theories concerning the February, 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor was that he had angered a drug peddler who had been supplying the comedienne). There's little that's comprehensible in the plot to this film, which concerns Tina, a little Italian acrobat (Normand) who is discovered in her native country by an American theatrical agent, Sterling (Adolphe Menjou, then billed as "Adolphe Jean Menjou"). When she shows up at his U.S. office in homely peasant clothes, Sterling has second thoughts, but press agent Pepper (Rayond Hatton) sends her to a beauty specialist, where her good looks are revealed. Pepper wants to make Tina a movie star, but she has already fallen in love with Lawson (Hugh Thompson), one of the men at Sterling's agency. Lawson wants her to give up her career, but she refuses until she catches him in a fashionable restaurant with another actress. She beats up the woman and then prepares to go back to Italy until Lawson stops her and all ends well.