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Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room (2012)

Peggy-Jean Montgomery pka Baby Peggy , Hobart Bosworth , Vera Iwerebor  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peggy-Jean Montgomery pka Baby Peggy, Hobart Bosworth, Irene Rich
  • Directors: Vera Iwerebor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Milestone
  • DVD Release Date: November 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EUE9V9S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Hollywood discovered Peggy-Jean Montgomery when she was just 19 months old and made her a star before she was two. By the time she was six, Baby Peggy had appeared in feature films, more than 150 popular shorts and was earning $1,500,000 a year making her one of the most popular stars in Hollywood. All around the world, stores sold Baby Peggy dolls, sheet music, jewelry and even milk. But by the age of 11, Baby Peggy was broke her money twice stolen and squandered by her family. A has-been without any formal education, she had never even been taught to read or write. Over the course of the next six decades this neglected child reinvented herself as Diana Serra Cary, a respected author, film historian and advocate for laws protecting child performers. With narration co-written by Cary, Vera Iwerebor s moving documentary combines rare clips from Baby Peggy s films with an intimate portrait of a woman who lost her childhood to the movies. The recent rediscovery of many Baby Peggy films now gives new generations the chance to fall in love with a plucky young actress and the lovely and accomplished woman she became. Like its star, Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room is filled with humor and a love for cinema and for life.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of 2013 Milestone DVD October 2, 2013
*** UPDATED NOV-06-2013 ***

This all-region NTSC DVD was released by Milestone Films on Nov-05-2013, and it contains the 55-minute documentary from 2012 called "Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room", which recounts the life story of silent film child star Baby Peggy (later renamed to Diana Serra Cary). The disc also includes 4 of her silent films: "Carmen Jr.", "Peg o' the Mounted", "Such is Life", and "Captain January". A photo gallery is also included.

All the content of this disc has been shown on TCM last year. The wonderful 55-minute documentary contains rare photos and new interviews from the now 94-year-old Diana Serra Cary, who started acting at age 3 in 1921 and later earned over a million dollars a year by making short films and feature films. We see Cary speak poignantly about her quick rise to stardom and stunning fall to hard times (due to contract disputes her father had with the studio), her vaudeville career, her unfulfilling years in sound films, and later a successful career as a writer. The title "The Elephant in the Room" refers to the fact that at one time, Cary and her family avoided talking about her Baby Peggy years. "Baby Peggy is like the elephant in the room that no one talks about at the dinner table," she says. Cary herself at one time tried to distance herself from Baby Peggy (hence the name change). But in her later years, she embraced it again, wrote books about herself and other child actors of her generation (notably Jackie Coogan), attended film festivals of her surviving works, and helped locating her lost films. She is the only actor from the silent era still searching for her films. Most of her films, sadly, did not survive. But we do see, notably, a clip from Baby Peggy's first film "Playmates".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room November 14, 2013
I’m currently fascinated by the history of silent cinema and how Hollywood evolved through the years. When it comes to child actors, only Jackie Coogan, Shirley Temple, and members of the Gang come to mind. So it was a surprise to learn about the legacy of another popular child actor of the twenties: Baby Peggy (Peggy Lee Montgomery). “Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room” is a little gem of documentary brought to us by the hard-working folks at Milestone Film, which will truly light your day.

Directed by Vera Iwerebor, the film basically takes us from the early years of Baby Peggy, to her later years, with Peggy herself doing the narration, almost always accompanied by her young granddaughter. Even though she was born in 1918, Peggy’s mind was very sharp and resourceful during the making of the documentary. Her career, we are told, was very brief and it lasted from 1920 to 1924. But what a career it was! She was huge during those times, earning at one point 1.5 million a year salary. I’m surprised that I did not know about her contribution to silent cinema! In her early films, she was accompanied by Brownie, the wonder dog, but she evolved into a star by herself, with great ability to imitate stars from the era, like Rudolph Valentino, Pola Negri, and others. Her father, Jack Montgomery, was a good horseman (made a living as a cowboy), but Peggy was basically the main bread provider for the family – she also lived with her mother and one older sister. Her timing was also lucky, as Carl Laemmle, the venerated boss at Universal, hired her to do movies, because Jackie Coogan (from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid”) was already growing up. She was also one of the first stars of which merchandise was manufactured.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's an amazing story of a real survivor July 13, 2014
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This documentary is very well done. It's an amazing story of a real survivor.
CAPTAIN JANUARY is very good, however, the shorts included are crude and not all that rewarding. Still, I am glad to have them in my collection and would like to see more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars August 12, 2014
By louise
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I'm a BIG fan of yours!
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