MerryPickford

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About MerryPickford

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday June 15

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    film preservation, archives, libraries, soccer, lego, life.
  1. While I disagree with many posters on here, whom I suspect, I wouldn't get along with regarding political discussions, both Lillian and Dorothy Gish were one of the first pioneering film actresses in early Hollywood history. I don't know anything about the University at hand, but a theater being named in honor of the Gish sisters wouldn't initially signify approval of the 1915 film "Birth of a Nation" from my perspective. I believe it's due to the fact that I am well informed on their entire Hollywood career and not just the fact that they were in that incredibly racist film.(I don't believe Dorothy was even in it but correct me if I'm wrong) The sisters started out as child performers at the turn of the century, as traveling stage performers in the theater with their mother and performing all around the country. When films were in their infancy during the Gish's childhood, getting a job in movies was considered a millimeter more respectable than prostitution so it wasn't until their fellow friend and theater actress Mary Pickford signed with American Biograph under D.W. Griffith and made several short films, that the Gish sisters decided to dive head first into the newly fledgling motion picture industry to make more money. Under D.W. Griffith, they made several Biograph short films between 1911-1912 and became very famous with movie-goers. When Griffith decided to invest more time and money to experiment with producing and directing feature length movies in 1913, Griffith chose his most popular and best experienced ingenue actress still under contract with Biograph, and that was Lillian Gish. She made several featured movies with Griffith between 1913-early 1920s, the most well known to the contemporary population being the controversial film in question. But both Lillian and Dorothy(the comedic of the two) starred in many wonderful silent films that aren't racist, though should come with a warning that they are in fact, films that were made during a period when attitudes and socially accepted behaviors wouldn't be tolerated in 2019. So am I in favor of banning their films or their names off theater buildings? I think banning things is just a lazy way of erasing history and prevents any discussion on these legendary but controversial actresses in a period in history that wasn't especially tolerant of people of color or any community different from a middle-class white protestant culture that certainly dominated at the time. My suggestion is keep the Gish name for the theater and have the film studies students with the aid of an archivist to produce an exhibition inside the lobby area with a display of some ephemera showcasing their entire film career span so that students and guests of that theater can become better educated on them and associate the Gish name with something more than Birth of a Nation. The simple answer of course is that Lillian Gish herself, was not herself a racist.(as far as I know and only based off her own account) The film she starred in, unfortunately is incredibly racist, even during the time it was released if you read the trade papers. But the truth is, she didn't go in making Birth of a Nation because she was deeply passionate on getting the story on the screen, she was under contract with Biograph at the time and she had to full-fill her obligations as a contract player in that early studio system. If people have a problem with Birth of a Nation, they shouldn't attack Lillian Gish's legacy but rather be critical of David Wark Griffith's decisions as a producer and director of the film.
  2. MerryPickford

    The Doris Day Appreciation Thread

    That's a little unnecessary shade. While I may be one of the few on this TCM forum that hasn't had the pleasure to discover Day's filmography, there are unfortunately a ton of people who haven't discovered Doris Day films unless grandma showed them one. I'm of a younger generation that didn't grow up with these films like some people but of course there are exceptions. I'm sure you know, the highly viewed Que Sera Sera on youtube which a lot of young people have seen and become familiar with doesn't count as watching her movies. The truth is, we all love and respect old movies on here so I apologize if I offended some fans of Doris Day, at the same time, we all have our own tastes and have been guilty of not getting around to a classic movie or two(yet) due to one's preferences and own likes. If one disagrees with my previous statement with claims they have loved and favorited every single classic movie, they'd be lying. We are all incredibly intelligent human beings, BUT with subjective tastes. I will definitely check out your first five Doris Day recommendations and give them a watch in the coming weeks. I am always eager to prove myself wrong and become surprised when I explore someone's filmography for the first time. Thank you and have a wonderful week. Lastly, RIP Doris Day and hopefully TCM does a 24 hour tribute where I can DVR more of her films and enjoy them for the first time.
  3. MerryPickford

    The Doris Day Appreciation Thread

    This is very sad news to hear about Doris Day passing away today. We all know some of these legendary Hollywood stars are going to leave the world one of these days but its always surprising to hear the news none the less. Even as a classic film fan, I've usually shyed away from her filmography, assuming the romantic comedy fluff genre she was well known for was not going to be my favorite kind of movies. That being said, I guess this is the right time to ask some Doris Day fans for recommendations on her top 5 movies that I should get a look at in tribute. I haven't seen a single one of her films yet, with the exception that occasionally when I've had TCM running in the background, I'd see Doris Day in a scene here and there out of context.
  4. MerryPickford

    What s up with Anderson Cooper ????

    With all due respect, Anderson Cooper started his career off as a journalist and therefore having him on during that month of March was appropriate to me. You don't have to like CNN, or any station that has the "liberal slant" that I'm assuming you're getting upset about, but you also have to understand the context of why he may have been selected over someone on Fox News that would ignore or downplay investigations on the current administration. That in my opinion isn't journalism the way it's been portrayed in some of these really great films. Great journalists investigate the heck out of something that the average person isn't going to be able to do on their own and please forgive me for saying, this current crop of conservatives are pretending nothing is wrong with the current administration and everything in the newspapers and media is "fake". That's not investigating, that's protecting their politicians for the sake of maintaining control and power, no matter how unethical it gets.
  5. MerryPickford

    I Just Watched...

    In this particular case, it was Antonio Seriano's(Gustavo Rojo) private wine cellar at his estate(where Maggie(Reynolds) Joe(Ford) and Marion(Gabor) were close friends and guests for the day) and he invited them down there to try his wines in celebration only after he managed to buy out the Lincoln Futura from Joe(Glenn Ford) for $17,500. So he was probably more generous with the amounts provided. Also this was 1959 so maybe the etiquette of wine tasting was different back then. Either way, it's my favorite scene in the movie.
  6. 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)
  7. Currently awake when I should be sleeping.

  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. MerryPickford

    TCM Remembers 2018

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

    Actress-director Penny Marshall (1943-2018)

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

    MARY PICKFORD

    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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2391089/I 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.

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