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Mary Pickford: America's Sweetheart Hardcover – March 28, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (March 28, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556111479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556111471
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Far superior to many movie star biographies, Eyman's portrait absorbs us in the life and times of a woman who, in his view, was at least 70 years ahead of her time. Pickford was born Gladys Smith in 1893 in Canada; she began her acting career as a child to support her widowed mother, sister and brother. In extreme poverty the family moved to New York City where impresario David Belasco gave the curly-haired girl the name that became world renowned. Playing innocent if mischievous roles in the silents, Pickford earned another sobriquet, "tough little mick," striking hard bargains offscreen. Hers was always the decisive voice in United Artists, the company she formed with Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks. Although Eyman ( Flashback ) emphasizes Pickford's achievements, he also records her failings--bigotry, alcoholism, her part in causing the marital break with Fairbanks. Included also are vignettes about many film folk, among them Buddy Rogers, who was Pickford's husband from 1937 until her death in 1979 at age 86.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A well-researched, highly readable biography of the first bona fide movie star. Eyman, a former film critic, provides thoughtful analysis throughout, based on the thesis, essentially, that now we're "used to strong, dominant women who mold their own show business careers . . . Yet the fact is that Mary Pickford was doing all this more than seventy years ago." The story of Pickford's rise from poverty to stardom is also the story of how the film industry rose from disreputable "flickers" to a billion-dollar industry, and Eyman provides a panoramic overview of early Hollywood. There is much detail on how Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith founded United Artists. Excellent use of quotes, and plenty of interesting details--especially on Pickford's years-long feud with Chaplin and her marriage to and breakup from Fairbanks. Essential.
- Kevin Sweeney, Morton Grove, Ill.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LifeboatB on March 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My library has only two biographies of Mary Pickford. I read Gary Carey's 1977 "Doug and Mary" first, and followed it up with this one. This version has much more detail than the shorter Carey book, but some of it is not really necessary to understand Pickford's story--the author, Scott Eyman, tends to step away from the main narrative to give, say, a thumbnail bio of one of Pickford's employers, or to throw in a lot more detail about United Artists' contracts than really belongs here. However, if you're interested in the period then you might not mind these digressions.

Eyman certainly provides a lot of information about Pickford, including some that seems new to this book, and a long section on her life post-movies, and for that I'm giving the book two stars. However, I'm taking away three stars because (1) the book could have been better organized and is not written in a particularly readable style, plus it has quite a few typos; (2) Eyman didn't investigate many of my questions about Pickford's life; (3) some of the information he gives is suspect, and there are no notes to help the reader assess it; and (4) Eyman's personal opinions intrude too forcefully into the narrative. (This might not have bothered me so much if I had not disagreed with so many of them.) He sometimes contradicts Pickford's recollections of events, with nothing more to back up his opinion than that he thinks what Pickford said isn't "likely." He has a lot of problems involving gender and money: it seems to rankle him that Pickford made so much money on her own, and he occasionally belittles her famed business sense. He spitefully refers to Pickford's third husband, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, as a "kept man," even though Rogers ran his own professional band and did radio work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the better books written about Mary Pickford-America's sweetheart.There is always so much written about people that are just repeated legends-many not true.This is not the case.Very well written.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rebecca coleman on August 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
oh how wonderful it was and is. it is like goin back into time. it is great and in perfect condition and the sweetest story out there really nice clean and so very much like a nostalgic time and period ever written. i just loved it and it is just what i was looking for to. oh i just do not no how to thank you for all you do i do thank you very very very very very much to you all.
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