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About MerryPickford

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday June 15

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    film preservation, archives, libraries, soccer, lego, life.
  1. MerryPickford

    The Top Ten Films of Debbie Reynolds

    Just a little context, I only recently started studying Debbie Reynolds shortly after she passed away in 2016. I had only seen one of her films before that, Singin' in the Rain, because she always seemed too perky and annoyingly hammy for my tastes. Luckily, TCM provided us with a whole day tribute that following January and I was able to record all of those films that I still have on my DVR. After reading her autobiographies, watching her interviews, and seeing every single one of her films(even the obscure one with Bing Crosby and Robert Wagner) I've meticulously compiled a list of what I believe were her top ten films she made. If there any other hardcore fans of her that would like to challenge me on why I included a certain film or excluded one, I'd be more than happy to share my opinion. Obviously the list is very subjective, and I based it on mainly the strengths of the her performance individually as an actress/singer/dancer/comedian and the enjoyment the film brought for me as a fan of classic movies in general. As a fan of classic film and someone who studied cinema during my time as an undergraduate, these films were surprisingly refreshing on their own, regardless of my silly crush on Reynolds. The ranking is indeed from best to great. There are no bad movies on this list because it is a top ten out of her whole filmography. I had a hard time deciding between "It Started with A Kiss" and "The Mating Game", both films feature Reynolds probably at her most charming self, total peak level of comedy, physicality, and beauty. It's astounding these were produced during a most embarrassing time in her life, but that's probably why there's such an investment on her part with these characters and it definitely shows. I also had a hard time deciding between "What's the Matter with Helen?" and "Mother"(1996) where she arguably should have been nominated for Best Actress. I decided on the former due to the fact that subjectively, I really loved her in Grande Dame Guignol sub-genre alongside Shelly Winters and the campiness and pretty disturbing portrayal of characters these women provided for us. For someone who has never seen it, it's definitely a different movie than what you would imagine Reynolds being in. The backstory of the film production makes for an interesting layer for the film analysis itself. Anyway I hope you enjoy my opinion, these films do regularly circulate every year on TCM with the exception of "The Rat Race" which I believe is because it's not part of their library. The good news is if you have Amazon Prime, "The Rat Race" is available to watch for free with the only issue being that I believe the aspect ratio might be incorrect. 1. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 2. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) 3. The Catered Affair (1956) 4. How the West Was Won (1962) 5. Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) 6. The Rat Race (1960) 7. Susan Slept Here (1954) 8. It Started with A Kiss (1959) 9. Divorce, American Style (1967) 10. What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971)
  2. Currently awake when I should be sleeping.

  3. MerryPickford

    Kid Sisters

    Debbie Reynolds had a strong sassy "little sister" run that lead her to leading actress. Here we see her with "older sister" Jane Powell in a little known MGM musical film titled, "Two Weeks With Love"(1950) and she plays June Haver's "little sis" in a Warner Bros musical titled, "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady"(1949) before Jack Warner pulled the plug on musicals for good and dropped Reynolds off at the bus station to Culver City.
  4. MerryPickford

    TCM has a new owner

    So is this channel going to go through yet another change again or stay pretty much the same in all this? This is the only channel I actually watch and the only reason why I have a cable subscription. Also this is probably the most loyal channel on television in this day and age.
  5. MerryPickford

    TCM Remembers 2018

    What if that lady from Gone With The Wind passes away? I forgot her name...
  6. MerryPickford

    Actress-director Penny Marshall (1943-2018)

    Do they update TCM remembers? why do they always do it so early?
  7. MerryPickford


    Hello, I just browsed to see if any posts were made regarding Mary Pickford the last few months and came across yours so I'm sorry if it's a really late reply. I have been studying Mary Pickford for pretty much this whole entire decade starting in 2010 and I own and read a lot of her biographies(both excellent and poor ones) She definitely became one of the most fascinating Hollywood people for me because of all the power she had for many years during that early era of the film industry. I'm so glad there are other fans that also admire her strength and ambition that drove her to be one of the best during the Silent Era. Incidentally, silent sunday night last night had The Love Light(1920), directed by Frances Marion and starring Pickford. It's usually a treat since TCM unfortunately only screens two Pickford films a year(I keep track) and they should really show more of her work so people can become more familiar with her. I can't wait to watch the recent restoration of Rosita(1923) when ever it becomes screened.
  8. MerryPickford

    The Man-Child Persona in Movies

    Correct. During the early 1930s, Pickford held a great admiration for Disney and wanted to work with Walt on some innovative projects he was toying with. One of them was a feature length movie based on the Lewis Carroll whimsical novel that would combine live-action elements with animated elements. There are actual test photos that still exist of Pickford dressed as Alice next to a Mickey Mouse doll. Ultimately the test shots indicated that Pickford would not be able to pull off another ingenue role no matter how much she dressed the part. The project ended up being scraped by Disney and eventually he did create feature length films that combined those elements together. Disney's Alice in Wonderland ended up being just a full animated film. Pickford ended up retiring from acting after Secrets(1933) but continued producing pictures until the 1950s.
  9. MerryPickford

    The Man-Child Persona in Movies

    Pickford had many types of "characters" she played. Much like Chaplin had the little tramp, Pickford had "the little tomboy girl", "the slavey" or simply "ingenue". She played the type, even getting creative and building oversized sets. She developed a very strong pathos and intimate connection in her teenage characters that became incredibly impressive even though her audience knew she was in her 20s.
  10. MerryPickford

    Mary Pickford Biopic

    They did try and get a biopic going on Mary Pickford that seemed to fizzle out over this decade. The inspiration for the movie development went back to 2011 when The Artist won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. At one point, Al Pacino's daughter was set to direct it and the actress at the time to play Mary was going to be Lily Rabe but then American Horror Story happened and she left the project. Over those years, actresses and actors would attach themselves to the project and then leave. The screenplay was supposed to be adapted from Eileen Whitfield's definitive biography on Pickford. There was some hype going into the movie as recently as 2016 when it was getting attention at Cannes but all that attention quickly fizzled out. I think unfortunately, the money wasn't there and nobody wanted to really pick up the film and get anything started with it. Today, it's listed as in "post-production" on IMDB and the release date is 2018, however the title of the movie went from "The First" to "Why Not Try Love: A Mary Pickford Manifesto", I kid you not. hahaha Here's the link to the IMDB info. still hold out hope that some big wig might invest in a Pickford project. She was a very fascinating strong woman that ran her own studio, she definitely would be an interesting subject during the "me too" era of our decade. PS: The Love Light(1920) is airing tonight on TCM during silent Sunday, a film that famed screenwriter Frances Marion wrote and directed for Pickford. Those two were besties and collaborated on films together for years, becoming some of the most power women in Hollywood.
  11. Debbie Reynolds received an Honorary Academy Award in 1916. Unfortunately for some reason, she was not physically able to be there in person to receive it. She won a Screen Actors Life Achievement Award and was just barely there to receive it thanks to the help of her family members who had to make sure she was physically able to make it on stage. I think she had Alzheimers or something towards the end of her life but she had a good run of life achievement awards. I don't know what a Kennedy Honors is but was she supposed to receive one too? I have a few favorite Debbie Reynold films 1. Sing in the Rain: She was in that sweet spot in her career where she was too young and innocent to know she was making history, she just did it like she had been in movies for decades, she didn't think about it. If she thought about how much of a big deal it was, she wouldn't have been as good or would have just dropped out of it. 2. The Catered Affairs: She played the daughter of Bette Davis and that's not easy to do. Should have won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress or been nominated at the very least. I think Golden Globe said they liked her. 3. The Rat Race: She played a woman and she had a job. It was a job where she had to dance with men in a nightclub and she slept with Tony Curtis in the same apartment even though they weren't married. This was a step up from that other movie Tami where she slept with a goat and didn't know what a hot dog was. 4. The Unsinkable Molly Brown: She learned to read and write in the movie. She worked as a barmaid a few weeks later when she ran away from her dad and then married a man who owned a lot of gold. She then moved to Europe for a few months and told those old broads off 12 months later. She deserved an Academy Award for Best Actress but lost to a wooden nanny that had zero flaws. 5. Divorcing Americans: She was married to Dick Van Dye for 20 minutes in the movie which is pretty much the max limit someone can be married to him before they need psychology. Then decided to divorce him and dated the Van Johnson guy from MGM but she told her best friend the anatomy was too small. She was brainwashed by a magician and pretended to be a coffee machine. She deserved at least a Golden Golden nod or Academy Award nod. Those are my choices. She was a great actress, I wish people knew her more than the little girl in Sing in the Rain.
  12. MerryPickford

    Question about the "Tammy" movie series...

    This is just an opinion, but I don't think Debbie Reynolds really cared to reprise Tammy after her husband dumped her. I believe in part because like many actresses that get stereotyped as ingenues, sweethearts and "girl next doors", they get sick of playing those parts over and over again and want to do something more challenging. Doing the Tammy sequels would have shortened her film career by about 10 years. She remained successful and got even more popular after Tammy and the Bachelor but had to deal with directors making fun of her cutesy sweetheart persona throughout the 50s and 60s. It wasn't until the 1990s when she did her Las Vegas shows, that she developed a sense of humor and became more self-deprecating, influenced very much by her equally hilarious and brilliant writer daughter.
  13. Does anybody know how to switch back to English. It seems that everybody is posting in Korean right now...
  14. MerryPickford

    Question about the "Tammy" movie series...

    I remember reading Reynolds autobiography a while back and these are notable quotes from her book "Unsinkable" regarding the Tammy movies: "Tammy and the Bachelor(1957) was released after Bundle of Joy(1956), but production(Tammy and the Bachelor was filmed in the earlier part of 1956 right after The Catered Affair) was completed before I began work on my film with Mr. Fisher(Eddie co-starred with Debbie in Bundle of Joy, filmed in Summer of 1956 shortly after Tammy). During the filming, I was already pregnant with Carrie, but I wasn't showing yet, so no special setups were required.[Carrie Fisher was born later that year, on October 21, 1956]"(Reynolds, p.231) "The success of the single(Tammy) also saved the movie. My recording wasn't released until after the film had failed at the box office. When the song was a hit(Top 40 for 23 weeks, 5 weeks at number 1) Universal rereleased the movie and it made millions."(Reynolds, p.233) "People often ask me why I didn't play Tammy in the two sequels. Ross Hunter(producer) did ask me to reprise my role, but by then I was pregnant with Todd and the studio couldn't wait for his arrival. So they cast Sandra Dee for 'Tammy Tell Me True. Sandra was fine, but I felt that this decision wasn't the best, that the audience deserved to continue their relationship with Tammy having the same actor in the role. As it turned out, if Universal had waited, I would have been filming during the biggest scandal of the 1950s, when Eddie left me for Elizabeth Taylor, which would have been great for Universal publicity department, if not for me. But it wasn't meant to be."(Reynolds, pp.233-234)
  15. MerryPickford

    STELLA MARIS (1918)

    I saw this movie in LA with a friend who was unfamiliar with silent movies and Pickford. After the movie ended, I asked her what she thought of it and she replied,"I thought it was pretty good! Mary Pickford was really good but that woman who played the orphan was great!" Then I paused for a moment and asked her if she was joking, then she was like "what do you mean?" Then I told her that Mary Pickford played both roles! Now to be fair, my friend doesn't pay much attention to details and isn't much of a silent movie aficionado, but it's pretty amazing almost 100 years later, her Unity Blake character is almost like a completely different actress is playing her.

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