This film sold more tickets than any other silent film in history.

The story is a bit complicated — Mickey lives with her step-father a gold mine before she is sent back east to be turned into a proper lady. Some fish-out-of-water comedy ensues, and Mickey soon has two suitors. The movie climaxes in an exciting, hilarious horse race with Mickey as a surprise jockey.

Mickey was not a success initially. Distributors didn’t know what to do with the action/comedy/romance/melodrama. It was essentially shelved for about a year.

Then, a miracle happened.

Mack Sennett was working in his Long Island office when a knock came at the door. The owner of a small movie theater had a problem. A logistical mix-up had left him without a film to show the next night. Unless he found another movie soon, his theater would sit empty.

Sennett suggested Mickey, and the theater owner agreed.

Audiences loved it. Sennett excitedly phoned Normand, informing her she had a hit on her hands.

READ MORE HERE: Mickey: The Forgotten Blockbuster

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