August 31, 2015
Review #733: Pollyanna.
Mary Pickford (Pollyanna Whittier), Wharton James (Reverend John Whittier), Katherine Griffith (Aunt Polly Harrington), Helen Jerome Eddy (Nancy Thing, Polly's Maid), George Berrell (Old Tom, Polly's Handyman), Howard Ralston (Jimmy Bean), William Courtleigh (John Pendleton), and Herbert Prior (Dr. Tom Chilton) Directed by Paul Powell.
You may be asking me one question: Why this movie, particularly in the twilight hours of August? The answer is...Why not? It's not like this isn't the first random choice on this show (Sweet 15, anyone?), and it won't be the last. Also, it's a movie with Mary Pickford, a very notable star of screen during the silent era, playing a 12 year old, though she was actually 27 when this was released in theaters in early 1920. This was based off (say it with me now) a novel of the same name, which was popular enough to spawn a series of books along with a term for bias towards the positive side. Anyway, how's the movie? Let's put it this way: If you are up for some cheer and pleasantries that illuminate from Pickford, this is for you. Even when the movie reaches gloomier subjects near the end, it never ceases to be anything other than entertaining, in large part due to Pickford. Her presence practically stretches throughout the whole movie, and it's hard to not enjoy Pickford's radiant charm. It has its shares of drama and light comedy, and the actors do a good job not overacting either for the most part. Ultimately, the optimistic charm of Pollyanna and the way it spreads across the community makes the movie more than just an orphan story, it makes it a enjoyable tale that is nicely spread in less then an hour. It's a good film to spend time on, and ultimately a good film to enjoy with everyone, especially silent movie fans.
On an unrelated note, the teacher in my first college class happens to be from Canada, which Pickford was also from. I guess after all the time mentioning that country in the past few years paid off in a subtle way.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.