Years and years ago when I worked in retail, in my boredom I would imagine some hot guy would come in and ask for my help and I would try to get my flirt on. That actually did happen once or twice but the flirting never lead to anything serious and I never saw the guys again (unfortunately). But that fantastical thinking kept my ADHD riddled brain entertained every once in a while to take my mind off of hating my job and all the customers (that was just one fantasy thought I had. Usually it was about finishing college and getting a real job or working in the movies one day). It was a lot of fun watching the silent film Suds because the main character had a very active and hilarious imagination that keeps her going working in a laundry.
At a French Laundry in the heart of London works a young woman named Amanda Afflick (Mary Pickford). Amanda does not a lot of the work the other women do because she is smaller than they are. The women also think Amanda is a little nuts because she keeps saying that a man named Horace Greensmith who left his laundry there eight months ago will come back and take her away because he loves her.
Amanda is sent to return laundry to a customer. She is carrying a large basket on her head when it comes tumbling over and into the street and becomes completely dirty. The owner of the laundry is furious with Amanda and makes her stay in the shop all night to re-clean and iron everything. The night in the basement store is scary with sounds she has never heard and things she has never seen.
In the morning all the other women come back into the shop. They see she has Horace Greensmith’s shirt and they immediately start making fun of her. She gets fed up with their ridicule and creates a wild story about how she is actually a duchess and the only reason she is working in the shop is because her father found out she was seeing Horace and kicked her out. Now she is waiting for Horace to come back for her. The real Horace Greensmith finally returns to the shop after eight months and a few days away. Amanda jumps into his arms in excitement. Horace has no idea who Amanda is and she tells him to just go with it until the other women leave the shop for the day. When the women do leave Amanda is finally alone with the object of her desire. Horace says that he lives in a mansion and that he can take her there. But then once he gets a real look at Amanda he decides to take her somewhere else and Amanda realizes then that Horace does not really like her.
Throughout the story with Amanda dreaming about Horace Greensmith and creating her imaginary backstory is the story about a boy named Benjamin who works for the laundry as a delivery boy and his horse named Lavender. Lavender is an old horse that cannot do very much anymore. Benjamin defends Lavender to fullest every time the owner of the laundry threatens to take the horse to the glue factory. Unfortunately, one-day Lavender manages to destroy all the clean laundry. The owner has had enough of the horse and sends it to the glue factory. Benjamin tells Amanda what has happened to the horse and she takes it upon herself to save Lavender. She rescues the horse and takes it back to her apartment. That does not go over very well with her neighbors or landlord and she has to take the horse out of the house. Luckily for Amanda a wealthy lady was doing her charity rounds of the neighborhood and came upon Lavender. She makes a deal with Amanda to have Lavender brought to her estate to live out the rest of his days. All of this took place in front of the laundry where all the women to see. When they ask Amanda who the old lady was she tells them the woman was her aunt and thus began the reason why she told them all the story of how she was kicked out of her home by her father.
Later on Amanda is asked by the wealthy lady to come work for her as a maid. Amanda finds Horace actually works on the estate and they fall in love with each other.
Suds is a silent film I have been wanting to watch for a few years now ever since I started watching Mary Pickford’s films. I liked it a lot. I thought it was very cute and funny. Pickford was so fantastic with her comedy. I think Suds proved that Pickford was willing to do anything for a laugh and to create a good performance because Amanda was a really horrid looking person. Pickford did not look like the adorable little girls or young women she usually played she looked like a woman who has never seen a brush or eyebrow tweezer. I enjoyed Suds a lot because I can relate to Amanda working in a crappy place and creating these imaginative scenarios to keep her going. Suds is a silent film I highly recommend take the time to watch. It is currently available to view on YouTube in full.