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Film / Lucky Star

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Lucky Star is a 1929 silent film, a romance drama directed by Frank Borzage.

Featuring the star duo of Janet Gaynor (as Mary) and Charles Farrell (as Tim), it tells a story of love between a young farm girl and a wheelchair-using World War I veteran. While they are happy together, Mary's mother doesn't want her to marry a "cripple". Especially since another veteran is also after her - Wrenn, a handsome womanizer who went after her just to spite Tim.

Third of 12 films co-starring Gaynor and Farrell. Not to be confused with the 1950s series The Complete Adventures of Lucky Starr, the 2003 manga Lucky Star, or a 1983 song by Madonna.

Lucky Star provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Tim names Mary "Baa-baa".
  • Arranged Marriage: Mary's mother knows better whom her daughter should marry.
  • The Casanova: Wrenn. Even during the war he found time to go for ladies (taking a truck, and leaving a horse carriage for Tim to deliver food to the frontline, resulting in Tim wounded and another soldier dead). After the war he uses his veteran status to get girls, promising to marry them and then dumping.
  • The Dandy: Wrenn, foreman of a utility line crew, using a hand mirror and comb to futz with his hair while the rest of his crew is working on a power line.
  • Down on the Farm: A simple tale of a rural farm girl falling in love.
  • Dramatic Drop: Mary drops a rock she picked up to defend herself from Tim when she sees him in a wheelchair.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Tim trying to get back on his feet. First time the montage ends with him falling on the floor dramatically. Second time he succeeds.
  • Jailbait Taboo: Tim, who has already given Mary a new hairdo, is about to give her a bath. He asks her how old she is, and she answers "'Most eighteen." Tim immediately re-buttons Mary's dress and terminates the bath.
  • Love Triangle: Mary and Tim love each other, but Wrenn charms Mary's mother to arrange a marriage.
  • Mean Boss: Wrenn, to Tim. Before the war they were working together as linemen, and we saw Wrenn climbing a pole to beat Tim who was working on the top. During the war, they served together, and, thanks to Wrenn, Tim got wounded.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Wrenn, who sports his uniform and brags about his heroism despite being kicked out from army. Several of the townspeople know he's bullshitting, but Mary's mother buys it.
  • Mr. Fixit: After the war, Tim becomes this. As he explains it, "Never thought much about broken things, until I got smashed up myself. That gave me the idea.".
  • The Power of Love: So strong it made Tim walk again. And even kick Wrenn's ass.
  • Race for Your Love: Tim goes on a frantic, hobbling walk on crutches to the train station to stop Mary from going away with Wrenn.
  • Snow Means Love: It's snowing as Tim goes on his climactic Race for Your Love, which ends with his passionate embrace with Mary at the train station.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: A poster saying: "To our girls. Remember our boys in France. Write to them, as often as you can. Knit socks! Cook, bake, work for our BOYS!"
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Tim's need to use a wheelchair just...goes away at the climax. He goes from sitting in his chair, to awkwardly using two crutches, to using just one crutch as he staggers along to the train station, to fighting Wrenn with no crutches and standing on his own two feet.
  • Watering Down: Mary waters down milk she sells.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The first time Tim and Mary meet, he gives her a spanking for stealing a coin from Wrenn. Somehow it's depicted as a good start for a romance.