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THROUGH THE BACK DOOR (1921)


Guest dredagain
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Yet another great film from Mary Pickford. Here she plays a Belgian "orphan" at age 12 and at age 17. She has been abandoned by her society mother and grows up on a farm. But when she comes back after 5 years to claim her, the former maid says she's dead. This news ruins the life of the mother. But Mary (playing Jeanne) heads to America to find her mother 5 years later, but ends up serving as a maid. Melodramatic to be sure, but Pickford is so good it doesn't matter.

 

Along the way she meets Billy Stokes (John Harron--brother of Robert) and falls in love... of course there is a happy ending.

 

Pickford is great as always, combining the spunky little girl who loves mud (there's a great scene of her cleaning up a muddy floor) with the beautiful young lady who finds love. Gertrude Astor is solid as the mother. Adolphe Menjou co-stars as a crook.

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Ed,

 

Haven't seen this for a couple years, but it is definitely among my top 3 or 4 favorite Mary Pickford features. The Milestone DVD is great, very nice Multi-tinted print, with a fabulous Robert Israel score. One of his best efforts ever! I recommend this one along with LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY both very highly!

 

Ironically, TCM has run most of the Pickford Milestone releases, but these two wonderful movies are not among them! Maybe they will debut yet sometime this year? They used to have a contract to show most all of the Mileston Silent film releases that came out on DVD.

 

The score for LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY by Nigel Holton is equally as good as Israel's work on THROUGH THE BACK DOOR! Each of these films is a strong candidate for the best picture of 1921! In-fact, I voted them in a Tie with Chaplin's THE KID, in it's entirety (the David Shepard restoration, not the Warner version), for the best film of that year on Golden Age of Hollywood! Beating out some mighty good movies. Including Rex Ingram's Epic THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE, with Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry, and Henry King's TOL' ABLE DAVID with Richard Barthelmess!

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I agree about the tinting.... beautiful sepia for most but the titles are in different colors.... blood red for the few war scenes, and a gorgeous indigo blue for the night scenes. ...

 

I always like Robert Israel's music!

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