A First National Picture
  Produced by Norma Talmadge
Directed by
Clarence Brown

CAST

Norma Talmadge . . . . . . . . . . . .     Kiki
Ronald Coleman . . . . . . . . . . . . .   
Victor Renal
Gertrude Astor . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    Paulette Mascar
Marc McDermott . . . . . . . . . . . . .    Baron Rapp
George K. Arthur . . . . . . . . . . . .     Adolphe
Irwin Connelly . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    Joly
William Orlamond . . . . . . . . . . .     Brule
Catherine Bennett . . . . . . . . . . .     Frou-Frou
Frankie Darro . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      Pierre


    Frankie appears in a minor role in this silent film produced by and starring Norma Talmadge as the title character, Kiki.  Because only parts of this film exist, we will only describe the scenes which involve Frankie directly.

    The film is set in Paris.  In the opening scene, we see Kiki on a street corner, dancing as she sells newspapers.  A title informs us that "Every time the chorus of the Folies Barbes rehearses a song -- it means murder on the High C's."  We see the chorus performing a song called "Deauville Daddy."  The camera pans out and we see Kiki and Pierre, standing outside.  Kiki is singing along with the song.  She is essentially a street waif.  Pierre tells Kiki that she sounds great.  " . . . you make that bunch sound like a lot of crows with the croup!"

    The manager of the review, Victor Renal, pulls up in his fancy car.  Spying the car (and eyeing a sale), Kiki and Pierre hurry over.  Kiki opens the door for Mr. Renal and Pierre sells him a newspaper.  Kiki is smitten with the man.  Pierre stands agog at this news, picking his nose.  Inside the review, a singer gets fired.  Kiki and Pierre see the woman leaving in tears.  Pierre suggests to Kiki that she try for the job; that all she needs are some nifty clothes.  Kiki runs home to her tiny flat and checks her money box to find a few coins amongst the washers.  The landlady comes in and presents Kiki with a bill for back rent.  Kiki says that she put the rent money under the landlady's wine bottle, sure she would look there first thing, then sneaks out behind the woman.

    Dressed in fancier clothes, Kiki returns to the theater.  She shoos Pierre away and ventures inside.  She tells the stage door man she heard they could use a chorus girl.  When asked if she were sent by the agency she admits she wasn't and is told to leave.  But she doesn't give up.  The stage manager tries to throw her out but she puts up a fight.  Acting all nice, the stage manager lulls her into a false sense of security before grabbing her and throwing her out on her rear.  Pierre is bold enough to look inside and yell to the man, "You big piece of cheese!"  When the stage manager chases Pierre into the street, Kiki is able to sneak back inside.  Pierre, meanwhile, eludes the man by quickly walking behind someone to hide.

 

Highlights:

This is one of the few silent films featuring Frankie which still exists to view today, even though copies appear to be somewhat incomplete.