Friday, June 24, 2011

Mary Pickford In The Poor Little Rich Girl

I'm back in my office after a week of nursing the family dog—we had the torn ligament in her knee surgically repaired—and I'm working away at my essay on the films of 1917.

In the meantime, why not check out this public domain copy of The Poor Little Rich Girl, arguably the most important film Mary Pickford ever made.

"Why is that, Monkey?"

Glad you asked:

● Her insistence that friend Frances Marion write it over Cecil B. DeMille's objection led to what may have been the first instance of a star firing a director.

● Despite the studio's certainty that it would flop, the film was a huge success and enable Pickford to renegotiate her contract, giving her $10,000 a week, 50% of her film's profits and complete creative control.

● And finally, Pickford also invented "indirect lighting" for this film—while putting on her makeup, she noticed that light shining from a hand-held mirror created a flattering effect, an effect she insisted director Maurice Tourneur recreate on the set. The technique soon became the industry standard and moviemakers have been lighting films in this manner ever since.

Well, at least that's what they tell me. In any event, without further ado, The Poor Little Rich Girl.


FlickChick said...

This is an amazing movie and I encourage anyone who has not seen it to give it a try. If you never understood Mary Pickford's appeal, this film will explain everything! Great post.

Maggie said...

She sounded like one tough woman. Good for her.

Hope doggie is doing well. : )

Mythical Monkey said...

You know, in terms of her popularity and her power, Mary Pickford from around 1917 to the mid-1920s has a strong case as the number one actress of all time ...

I plan to write about her more expansively soon.

Mythical Monkey said...

Oh, and the dog is doing very well, thanks! Maybe too well. She wants to chase rabbits a week after the doctor rebuilt her knee, which is strictly verboten.

Can't blame her though. Rabbits needs to be chased!

Douglas Fairbanks said...

Number one actress of all times !

And kind and sweet, despite her moxie. . . .

theduckthief said...

And Canadian! Huzzah!