An extravagant 1926 fairy-tale gothic about an evil farmer who keeps a group of orphans imprisoned, malnourished, and virtually enslaved. Mary Pickford was 34 when she played Mama Mollie, the teenage protector of the younger children who eventually leads an escape. Overdrawn in the manner of a child's story, the film is more effective in parts than as a whole. There's some superbly moody cinematography during a chase through a swamp (and yes, Pickford played the scene only a few feet away from the live alligators). But director William Beaudine has never been accused of having a vision; ultimately this is just a collection of emotional moments, enhanced by good imagery and acting.
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