Photo courtesy of Allison Shealy


Released 12/16/18 by Universal Special; Director: Robert Z. Leonard; Screenplay: Robert Z. Leonard and Mae Murray; Cinematography: Allan Siegler; 6 reels

CAST: Mae Murray (Mugsy Mulane), Jack Mulhall (Jimmy), Lon Chaney (Bud), Joseph Girard (Judge Cotton), Lydia Knott (Aunt Sarah)

SYNOPSIS: Mugsy Mulane, a little girl who masquerades as a boy, is a member of a gang of crooks of which "Jimmy the Eel" is a member. One night after a robbery, the police raid the gang's hideout and Jimmy is captured. Mugsy escapes, and hops a ride on a freight train heading out of town. Two days later, the train stops near the little village of Cottonville. Mugsy is spotted by the brakeman who chases her, but she manages to escape. She leans against a sign-post that reads, "Danger--Go Slow!" Heeding the sign's advice, she wanders into town where she comes to the home of Aunt Sarah, and confesses that she is really a girl, not a young boy as Sarah first thinks. Mugsy sees a picture of Sarah's son, and it is none other than her old pal Jimmy, who Mugsy learns has gone to prison for a year. Aunt Sarah takes Mugsy into her own home, and when Judge Cotton, the wealthiest and meanest man in town, threatens to foreclose on Aunt Sarah's 40 acres, Mugsy decides to help her. Mugsy, back in her boy's clothes, steals money from the Judge's safe, but Sarah forces her to return it. Later, the Judge tries to kiss Mugsy, and she threatens to expose him to the town gossip if he does not pay her $300. Bud, an oil prospector, has heard the whole incident and confides to Mugsy that he is in town to buy Sarah's land which lies over a major oil field. He pays her $10,000 for 20 acres, and the money is sent to the Judge to pay off the mortgage. Mugsy goes off to meet Jimmy when he is released from prison, and at first he does not recognize the pretty good who is waiting for him. They go to Cottonville where Sarah is overjoyed by the return of her son. Bud comes to them saying that a representative of the Sterling Oil Company wants to buy the remaining 20 acres from Aunt Sarah for $40,000. Jimmy takes Mugsy in his arms and they decide to settle down in Cottonville.

"Even with a pronounced lack of plausibility in the later incidents, the story may be put down as abundantly entertaining. It has humor and pathos and some excellent character work, and should have very general appeal." ---Moving Picture World

"Here is a feature that starts like a whale, but when it is about half finished takes a header into the briney and stays there...The photography should be given special mention. Some of the shots are particularly excellent." ---Variety

NOTES: Motion Picture News gave the following advice to exhibitors on how to sell the picture: Keep all of your advertising essentially human. People like to see pictures with real Americans in them and this takes you from the thieves of the big city to the purity of the best people of a country town. There is nothing sensational about the production, but you can give it a general appeal to every member of the family if you will get the spirit of it first, for it is a heart interesting story of environment, the influence of good associations. But don't say that. The minute that you spring such words as "regeneration" and "environment" on your patrons a lot of them conclude that is is some sort of a problem play and stay away.

© 1997,2013 Jon C. Mirsalis

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