Me and My Galatea (Male Chauvinist Pygmalion)

pordenone 004

THE DOLL MAKER — from Pordenone Festival of Silent Film — spectacularly creepy melodrama about a maker of dolls (picture Gepetto crossed with Jimmy Stewart’s character in VERTIGO) who constructs a life-sized replica of his deceased daughter and dresses her in the slain sprog’s last outfit. He also cruelly rejects his young son, so upset is he by the loss of his little eye-candy-apple.

The story reaches a preposterous “touching” conclusion when the son’s she-urchin playmate, secretly invited by him to spend the night indoors, accidentally breaks the doll and is forced to take its place to conceal the destruction. Dad gets quite a surprise when he notices his babykins mannequin (babyquin?) is breathing, then resolves to adopt the child. Is she going to be a substitute for the original daughter or a substitute for the substitute? Is this meant to be a happy ending? I felt anxious rather than satisfied, since the film never made clear what Dad was getting up to with his baby doll in that back room…

The ending does suggest an alternate happy ending for DON’T LOOK NOW, in which Donald Sutherland welcomes the knife-wielding dwarf lady into his family as replacement for his departed daughter. Good sequel opportunities.

No images available for this film, and no credits either — practically nothing is known about it.


9 Responses to “Me and My Galatea (Male Chauvinist Pygmalion)”

  1. david wingrove Says:

    Never seen or heard of this film before…but it’s already on my Top 10 list! Where and how do I get to see this?! Did you by any chance film it on your I-Phone? Could you possibly re-enact a few scenes from memory? Sorry, I know I’m obsessed…

  2. The Don’t Look Now dwarf was a CHICK?? I had no idea.

  3. Of course she’s a chick! She was a Neapolitan flower seller imported especially for the shoot.

    THE DOLL-MAKER is, it seems, a Gaumont production from 1913, and I couldn’t even find stills from it.

  4. Okay, in real life she’s a chick, but is playing a chick? Am I the only person who doesn’t know this? I must say– and I speak as somebody who worked as an usher at the Park Theater in Caldwell, New Jersey, where DLN played more than once during my time there– nothing about her in that final scene has ever screamed ‘chick’ to me. Is that a girls style raincoat or something?

  5. Well, it’s similar to the raincoat little Christine was wearing… though her version is like a duffel coat (see also Peeping Tom for further evidence of the sinister nature of this apparel). I think she might be wearing lipstick. She has long hair (although it’s 1973, so…)

  6. Between that amazing clip from “Joanna” and the fact that you can’t even beat up a dwarf chick, I’m starting to entertaining some real doubts about you, Donald…

  7. Donald has a long, painful story (told to Mark Cousins) about the scene in 1900 when he’s supposed to head-butt a cat to death. No felines were harmed, but Donald ended up with concussion, drawing pins stuck in his forehead, and an earlobe hanging off.

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