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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

THROUGH THE BACK DOOR (1921)

While Mary Pickford’s audience clamored for pre-teen portraits, she was really at her considerable best playing characters in their late-teens and early twenties. This 1921 pic (co-helmed by her wastrel brother Jack Pickford & the proficient Al Green,though Mary was always in charge) has two memorable pre-teen bits (Mary mops the floor uses brushes as skates & a superb comic encounter with a stubborn mule). But it really takes off when Mary grows up and hits the Belgium road on her way to find her long-lost Mom in America. Along the wa, she picks up two orphans, meets the rich parents who had deserted her, stops a secretly married golddigging couple from fleecing them and finds tru-love with a society boy who only knows her as a maid. Whew! All that, plus a surprise precursor of Chaplin ’s famous drive-by finale to A WOMAN OF PARIS Adolph Menjou stars in both pics so it ain't no coincidence. Plus, there's a first-rate score on the official Pickford Estate-approved DVD from Robert Israel.

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