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Suzanna (1923) DVD

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Suzanna (1923)


 F. Richard Jones


 Mack Sennett (adaptation), Linton Wells (story)


 Mabel Normand, George Nichols, Walter McGrail, Evelyn Sherman, Léon Bary, Eric Mayne
Comedienne Mabel Normand was in the middle of production for this comedy-drama when William Desmond Taylor was murdered. She was the last person to see him alive, and the shock of his death, combined with stressful police interrogations, caused her to have a breakdown. Filming was halted for several weeks, then resumed in the spring of 1922, and the picture itself wasn't released until the next year. A pair of Castilian nobles, Don Fernando (George Nichols) and Don Diego (Eric Mayne) want to combine their two estates through the marriage of their children. But Don Fernando's son, Ramon (Walter McGrail), has fallen in love with Suzanna, the daughter of a peon on his father's estate. Meanwhile, Don Diego's daughter, Dolores (Winifred Bryston), has been expelled from boarding school because of her love affair with Pancho, a toreador (Leon Bary). Don Fernando tries to separate Suzanna from his son by sending her away, and she ends up as Dolores' maid, with the two young ladies less than fond of each other. The plot thickens when it is revealed that the girls were switched at birth, and Suzanna is really Don Diego's daughter. Although Suzanna tries to keep quiet out of respect for the two old men, the truth eventually comes out and she is allowed to marry Ramon, while Dolores is happily left with Pancho. This was Normand's next to last film for Mack Sennett, and apparently it did well at the box office in spite of the previous year's scandal. Critics, however, gave the film mixed reviews since it didn't have the kind of slapstick that was Normand's special talent.

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