The Ocean Waif/49-17 [DVD]

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The Ocean Waif
As a baby, Millie (Doris Kenyon) was washed up onto the beach of a fishing village and taken in by Hy Jessop (William Morris). Jessop has abused her all her life, forcing her to work as a drudge and beating her often. Her only protector is Sem, a half-witted hunchback (Fraunie Fraunholz). After being beaten one too many times, Millie runs away and hides in a mansion that's supposed to be haunted. The next day, author Ronald Roberts (Carlyle Blackwell) arrives in search of some peace and quiet so he can complete his novel. He moves into the mansion and Millie plays ghost until he discovers her. The two of them fall in love, but Roberts is already engaged to Beatrice (Lyn Donelson), who shows up in the village with a group of his friends. Dejected, Millie returns to Jessop, who beats her savagely. Sem shoots Millie's cruel taskmaster through a window, but Roberts arrives just in time to be accused of the murder. When it looks like the hapless author is about to be convicted, Sem confesses. Since Beatrice has deserted him, Roberts is able to return to the city with Millie as his wife. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

'49 -'17
A judge who had taken part in the gold rush of 1849 hires an acting troupe to recreate the experience in this rather fanciful silent Western. The make-believe turns serious when a real gold-mine is discovered nearby and a local girl (Donna Drew) is kidnapped by a nasty gambler (Jean Hersholt). Filmed near San Diego, California, the '49 - '17 is notable for having been directed by a woman, Universal scenario-writer Ruth Ann Baldwin. Miss Baldwin directed or co-directed a handful of feature films, several of which, including this one, featured her husband Leo O. Pierson in important roles. Baldwin returned to screen writing in 1919. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

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