Polly of the Follies (1922)

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There seems to be some debate over exactly who directed this amusing Constance Talmadge picture. Since John Emerson directed so many of her films (and co-wrote the screenplays with his wife, Anita Loos), he has automatically been given credit by several sources. However, trade paper Motion Picture News lists Joseph Plunkett as director, and Loos, in her memoir The Talmadge Girls, recalls that Emerson was involved with the Broadway actor's strike in New York, and only marginally available as a screenwriter, much less a director. Perhaps this just proves the strength of a good script, because, review-wise, most of the kudos go to Loos and Emerson's story. Polly Meacham (Talmadge) is a small town girl with a passion for the stage. She puts on an amateur theatrical which broken up by her straight laced uncle, Silas (Horace Knight), and plays a burlesque Cleopatra for a matinee at the Old Soldiers' Home. The next stop for Polly, of course, is new York and the Follies. Florenz Ziegfeld (Bernard Randall) puts her to work, and then Polly makes sure her pal, Alysia Potter (Billie Dove), is hired, too. But Polly blows her opportunity on her first night by coming down off the stage to welcome the folks from back home. She's fired and Alysia is given her part. But Alysia's fiancé, Bob Jones (Kenneth Harlan), has come to love Polly, while Alysia has decided to pursue a career. So even if Polly loses her slot in the Follies, she wins a husband.