November 3, 2014
Movie Night: The Poor Little Rich Girl.
Review #658: The Poor Little Rich Girl.
Mary Pickford (Gwendolyn), Madlaine Traverse (Gwendolyn's Mother), Charles Wellesley (Gwendolyn's Father), Gladys Fairbanks (Jane), Frank McGlynn, Sr. (The Plumber), Emile La Croix (The Organ Grinder), Marcia Harris (Miss Royale), Charles Craig (Thomas), and Frank Andrews (Potter) Directed by Maurice Tourneur.
This is the earliest film I've covered on this show, beating out Mickey and Back to God's Country (1918 and 1919 respectively) just barely. And it just so happens that this is the first film with Mary Pickford covered here as well. Who is Mary Pickford, you may ask? One of the most important stars in the silent film era. For example, she was one of the original investors in United Artists (along with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith), and this was after she had already made her own film company to distribute her films. And in this film, she does a wonderful job...playing a 11 year old. The 25 year old Pickford looks so small compared to the other actors, which helps give an illusion of youth. Her aura of wild energy and manner of comedy make for a really entertaining performance. The movie is practically lifted by her performance, while the story sounds repetitive at times (she tires to have fun, they later ruin it), the comedy is mildly decent enough to help outweigh boredom. My favorite scene is where Pickford's character believes her father deals with bears at his job, even imagining them huddling around her dad. That, and when the servants tell her of the bears that could attack her if she walks alone. Try telling someone your job has bears in it, and see how they react. The movie is at least entertaining enough to justify its 70 minute length, which makes for a brief but decent time.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.