Trip to Paradise (1921)

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Between the time Franz Molnar's play Liliom was first seen on-stage and 1956, when the Rodgers and Hammerstein version, Carousel, hit the movie theaters, this story underwent quite a few incarnations. This silent feature was the first time it appeared onscreen. Whereas Molnar's play took place in Austria, the film adaptation uses Coney Island as its backdrop. Bert Lytell plays Curley Flynn, a sideshow barker for a concession called "A Trip to Paradise." His boss, the Widow Boland (Eunice Moore), is infatuated with him. But Flynn falls in love with Nora O'Brien (Virginia Valli), whose aunt runs a photo gallery. Because of their romance, Flynn is fired and Nora is locked out of her home, so they marry and Mrs. Smiley (Victory Bateman) makes him a partner at the photo gallery. But business is bad, and the Widow Boland will only let Flynn have his job back if he leaves Nora. When Flynn discovers that Nora is pregnant, he robs a house in desperation. He is shot, and while he is on the operating table, he goes to heaven, where he finds himself on trial. In the end, he is sent back to earth for the sake of his wife and child.

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damsel-in-distress, rescue