Pat Harrington (Marian Davies) is the patsy in her family, the forgotten good girl who watches her flirtatious sister collect all the fellas. But when sis two-times her current beau, the dreamboat Pat secretly loves, Pat seizes her chance. She knows that to get a man, a girl needs to get some personality. So she gets three, mimicking Mae Murray, Lillian Gish and Pola Negri in a daffy plot to make the dreamboat jealous. Davies radiates comic charm, highlighted by her dead-on impersonations of the three cinema divas, in this audience pleaser directed by King Vidor (The Crowd) and costarring Marie Dressler (Min and Bill) as Pat's battle-ax of a mother. Gloriously fun and frothy, The Patsy was the biggest hit of Davies' career.
Next to SHOW PEOPLE, THE PATSY may well be Marion Davies' best silent vehicle. Based on a hit Broadway play, this modern Cinderella story casts Davies as Patsy Harrington, the drudge of her social-climbing family. Secretly in love with Tony Anderson (Orville Caldwell), the boyfriend of her irresponsible but irresistible sister Grace (Jane Winton), Patsy yearns to be a "personality girl." Rather than cultivate her looks, she decides to become the "intellectual" of her family, which outrages her mother (Marie Dressler) who believes that beauty and brains don't mix. Meanwhile, the fickle Grace begins cheating on Tony with a millionaire named Bill (Lawrence Gray). For Tony's sake, the "new" Patsy throws herself at Grace's new beau, hoping to break up the romance. The whole affair ends, predictably but hilariously with Tony falling in love with Patsy! Best scene: sitting by a mirror, Davies impersonates Lillian Gish, Mae Murray and Pola Negri -- which reportedly infuriated Murray and Negri but delighted Gish.
Romantic Comedy |
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