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Secrets with Mary Pickford and Leslie Howard

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Did anyone else watch it tonight? I was very pleasantly surprised. I intended to watch it since it was Mary Pickford's last movie, and boy did she deliver. It's a shame that she didn't continue to make films, since she was a very talented actress who had no problem in transitioning from silents to sound.


Leslie Howard co-starred with her as well as Ned Sparks and C. Aubrey Smith. The other players I was not familiar with. I won't go into details on the story since the synopsis is in the database, but I have to say, in spite of the story sounding somewhat trite and predictable, it was pulled off beautifully. Howard was equally as good as Pickford, and believe it or not, they made a very believable couple, even though in real life she was older than him I'm sure. The direction by Frank Borzage, the production values, sets, costumes, etc., it was a first class movie all the way. And it was completely devoid of silly sentimentality, or ridiculous over-acting which plauged some of the early 30's dramas that were made in a similar fashion. This movie is suprisingly contemporary in it's portrayal of their marriage, and I don't mean because of how Pickford handles a particular situation in the story (I don't want to give it away), I mean in the way that she and Howard relate to each other.


But it was clearly Pickford's movie and she really gives a top notch performance. Even though she didn't make any more movies after this, it's nice that she went out on a high note instead of fading away in terrible movies as so many other legends have done.

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Yes, I enjoyed the movie very much, and had never seen it before. I was surprised to learn that this was a TCM premier? I figured that it had been shown at least a time or two in the past? It was wonderful to see a sharp crisp print like this broadcast. The main-title theme was just lovely. Mary wasn't as great an actress in talkies as in her Silent films, but her performance was still very solid.


Even in her 40's Pickford looked stunningly beautiful at times. And could easily portray characters significantly younger not just convincingly, but with ease. It's hard to believe this was the end.


Mary Pickford's general body of work is loaded with extraordinary performances, and a plethora of highly underrated, and largely overlooked films. I am so glad that Milestone is finally releasing some new titles soon on DVD. 2009 marks the 30th Anniversary of Mary's death in 1979.

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Yes, a TCM premiere, that will probably take forever to be reshown. I'm sure of that because my DirectTV satellite had some weather issues last night, so I lost signal about 50 minutes into the film. At least I had the pleasure of seeing it at Cinevent 37, so I can wait.


I agree that Mary was stunningly beautiful and I was pleasantly surprised by the tonal quality of her voice. And there's one scene in particular, in the cabin, which I remember as being quite powerful without the histrionics one might expect from a lesser skilled silent film actress. I wish she had made more sound films.

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