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Mary Pickford: Muse of the Movies (2008)

Charles Chaplin , Amelia Earhart , Nicholas Eliopoulos  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Chaplin, Amelia Earhart, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Douglas Fairbanks, Lillian Gish
  • Directors: Nicholas Eliopoulos
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: Cinema Libre Studio
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2012
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007R0PWUO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,448 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mary Pickford: Muse of the Movies" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Mary Pickford, The Muse of the Movies traces the life and work of this legendary silent film star, movie pioneer, and keen businesswoman. Pickford s life (1892-1979) also parallels an even larger story, telling of the 'birth of the cinema' itself. Pickford co-created United Artists Studios, spearheaded the founding of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as established the Motion Picture Retirement Home. Mary, known as 'America s Sweetheart' was the first actress to earn one million dollars, and only star to ever receive a 50% profit share of her movies. She was the first actor, male or female, to have her name placed on the Cinema s marquee along with the film s title, and she was the first to win an Oscar for Best Actress in a 'sound' motion picture for her performance in the 1929 film 'Coquette'. In 1976, Mary was presented with her second Academy Award for her humanitarian work. In this documentary, through restored vintage audio recordings, Pickford narrates her own story along with actor Michael York. Classic film clips, rare home movies, and cameo interviews with Adolph Zukor (founder of Paramount Studios), famed aviator Amelia Earhart, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Lillian Gish, Buddy Rogers (Pickford s last husband), as well as the only interview ever given by Pickford s daughter, Roxanne Rogers Monroe, give the viewer an in depth look into the early world of the American cinema.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Yes, really. Mary Pickford was not only an actress in films (both silent and sound) for 25 years, but she co-founded United Artists, developed camera techniques like "face lighting", supported women in strong roles and even convinced Sid Grauman to have stars put their hands and feet in concrete in front of his Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

There are probably other bios of Pickford out there but none as unique as this 101-minute one. Why, because - through creative editing - Pickford (who died in 1979) actually co-narrates the film. Director/Producer Nicholas Eliopoulos - who has made a career as Editor on such mega-hits as "Out of Africa" and "9 to 5", spent more than 10 years assembling over 18 hours (!) of audio interviews that Pickford gave to both the BBC and the UCLA Oral History project (going so far as to adjust the pitch of her voice so it would flow easily) and rare footage and stills of her career. He then got his "friend", actor Michael York, to add additional narration. The quality of the prints and the "look" of this documentary are superb.

The DVD adds a few helpful bonues too: There are text bios of all the important people mentuoned in the film (husbands Douglas Fairbanks Sr and Buddy Rogers, Charlie Chaplin, Lillian Gish ansd more), a Photo Gallery with 23 images and two interviews with the Director. The first of these (15 minutes) is from the Q&A from the 2011 Toronto Film Festival (Pickford was born in Toronto) which add some new info. The second (also 15 minutes) is the audio of a radio show interview from 2011 on a New Mexico radio station.

This is a must see film for anyone interested in motion picture history. And, I'm certain will spark a revival in rentals of Pickford's films.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A DOCUMENTARY PAT ROBERTSON WOULD APPROVE OF October 15, 2013
By RANDEL
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The first hour of this documentary is excellent. It was a brilliant stroke to use splices of earlier audio-interviews to make Pickford the seeming narrator of a film about her own life. But as a film-buff, I'm interested in Miss Pickford's movies, not her religious views. During the last third of this film, we are treated at least 15 or 20 minutes of soaring strings accompanying film-clips of clouds while we're told about Mary's profound "spirituality." I thought for a moment I had accidentally clicked on THE 700 CLUB! When I watch a documentary about a film-personality, I want to learn as much as possible about their FILMS. It only takes one sentence and minute or two to tell us that she was very religious. Personally, I would have appreciated seeing more clips from her films...especially since none of Pickford's films retain the stature (or familiarity) of film classics like BIRTH OF A NATION, THE GOLD RUSH or METROPOLIS.

Lots of contemporary documentariies have clear political or social agendas. But I felt like this one betrayed it's primary goal of documenting an important star's film career by wasting valuable time veering off the subject. Bottom line: It wasn't Mary Pickford's faith that made her "The Muse of the Movies."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb look at the life of America's Sweetheart October 6, 2012
By CJS
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This dvd is a must for any Pickford fan. It consists of Mary telling her life story, culled from several audio interviews. This is combined with footage from her films as well as other archival footage as well as those who knew Mary including Buddy Rogers, Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, and Adolph Zukor. It is well done and one of the best documentaries I've seen in quite some time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Sweetheart May 23, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A well done DVD documentary outlining the life of Mary Pickford and establishing why she was considered America's Sweetheart. The program is filmed well, and has done a very good job with the addition of many interviews of friends and associates of Miss Pickford along with many film clips from the many films she made during her very monumental career.

An interesting section on the loss of her home in Beverly Hills, California (Pickfair) is a sad reminder as to why Cities need appropriate standards for maintaining homes and buildings that have Historical significance. Pickfair was known at the time as the White House of the West Coast due to the many dignitaries that were entertained there during the time Miss Pickford owned the home. Highly recommended for those interested in learning of the Pioneers of early silent film in Hollywood during the teens and twenties of the last century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best so far... January 14, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
So far this is the best Mary Pickford documentary I've seen and I've researched her biography for years...
It goes in a lot more detail than the PBS special did and has a lot of the narration by Mary herself...
If you want to research not just Mary but filmmaking in it's infancy and learn about all the supporting players in her life...
This is a really through doc to watch...
And the PBS doc is also good...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Documentary, riveting and informative! August 23, 2013
By Lady Di
Format:DVD
I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary. The never-before-released footage and soundtrack with recordings of Mary's own voice woven into the story made it just riveting. This is a great piece of work for both movie buffs and fans of Mary Pickford! Eliopoulos has done a fantastic job, can't wait to see more by him!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The DVD was better than I had expected and many Pickford fans will ...
The DVD was better than I had expected and many Pickford fans will enjoy this documentary.
The documentary spoke about many interesting details about Mary that are not often... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Deema
5.0 out of 5 stars My Sweetheart too!!
I have always loved Mary, and now I have a movie that summarizes her career. I was walking around Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, CA about 15 years ago, and I peeked over a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rick Theis
5.0 out of 5 stars A great inspiration
I have watched this documentary three times and every time reveals a new, deeper understanding of this female pioneer of the movies. Read more
Published 17 months ago by James R. Breed
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best I've seen.
This is a top-notch video. Superbly produced and presented. So much of it narrated by Mary Pickford herself. I love it.
Published 18 months ago by Richard Summers
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tribute to My Mary
Mary Pickford is one of my absolute favorite stars ever. Her sweetness on screen, her immense talent both in front of and behind the camera, her beauty, and her intelligence have... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Samantha Glasser
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory view as a Female Role Model in the Film Industry
I have read a lot on Mary Pickford, but this gave me a new viewpoint. Of especial interest was the interviews with her husband, which were amazingly high quality. Read more
Published on September 9, 2012 by Patrick Faith
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