The Ghost of Rosy Taylor/Eyes of Julia Deep [DVD]

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Ghost of Rosy Taylor
One of the few surviving silent films of director Edward Sloman, The Ghost of Rosy Taylor contains one of the most powerful opening sequences in any picture. Two society ladies discuss their servants, with one of them recommending her new "hired girl" Rosie Taylor. The other lady reacts with shock and surprise, commenting that Rosie Taylor is dead. Deciding to investigate, the two dowagers venture into the home where "Rosie" is supposedly employed, only to be frightened out of their by a series of eerie "haunted house" noises (brilliant conveyed in entirely visual terms!) After this powerhouse prologue, the plot proper begins with a flashback, as heroine Rhoda (Mary Miles Minter), an American girl who has spent several years in Paris, returns to New York City without a penny to her name. She comes across a letter of recommendation for a cleaning woman named Rosy Taylor -- and, in dire need of money, decides to become Rosy Taylor herself, never realizing that the real Rosy has long since departed this earth. Rhoda's impulsive action completely changes not only her life, but the lives of everyone whom she meets. Despite the substandard quality of available prints, The Ghost of Rosy Taylor retains its original excellence and entertainment value. Curiously, director Sloman always considered the film to be one of his lesser efforts, citing his difficulties in extracting a convincing performance out of his 17-year-old star Mary Miles Minter. Evidently he succeeded, since Minter was far more believable here than in any of her other existing prints -- and whenever her performance falters, Sloman wisely cuts away to something else (in fact, the editing in this picture is fantastic, equalling and sometimes exceeding the best of D.W. Griffith). The Ghost of Rosy Taylor is currently available on video from a variety of reliable sources. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Eyes of Julia Deep
Produced for the American Company in Santa Barbara, California, this quaint melodrama is one of only two or three Mary Miles Minter films to have survived. Minter was the breathtakingly beautiful but somewhat inert actress, whose name will forever be linked to that of murdered director William Desmond Taylor, with whom she was reportedly in love. Minter's Julia Deep, however, is surprisingly potent, and the actress is actually quite good as the supervisor of a department store's exchange department who falls in love with a handsome but irresponsible playboy (Allan Forrest). The girl's all consuming passion is so strong that it literally prevents the young man from committing suicide. It has long been accepted that Mary Miles Minter was forced out of films because of her connection with Desmond Taylor's 1922 murder; in reality, however, the likely reason for Mary's disappearance was probably that she had turned 21 and was thus free of her (stage) mother's iron grip. She herself once said that she was only in films for the money. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Mary Miles Minter - Rhoda Eldridge Sayles
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