“I’m going to fight for these people until the state realizes that child marriage must be stopped!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
A number of later scenes — such as sleazy Richmond “wooing” Mills by bringing her a stuffed doll — are equally disturbing.
What Peary chooses to focus on his review, however, is the “extremely interesting character” of the teacher (Durrell), who is a “liberated woman in the sense that she has chosen her job and living alone over marriage to the man she loves”, and is “a crusader, willing to put herself on the line for her cause” (indeed, one particularly frightening scene shows her being kidnapped and nearly tarred and feathered by a group of angry men).
Unfortunately, after her strong presence during the film’s exposition — in which she’s shown actually traveling “around talking to the men and women of Thunderhead Mountain” in an attempt to explain that child marriages have “ruined the lives of the females”:
— she is largely absent, as the narrative shifts instead to the central plot involving wily Richmond’s manipulation into a marriage contract with young Mills. Yet her presence does indeed allow for some “unexpected feminism” in an otherwise “ridiculous” film — which, according to Peary, will keep you “constantly… amused and amazed”.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: