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Rags and Riches: The Mary Pickford Collection (The Poor Little Rich Girl / The Hoodlum / Sparrows / Ramona) [Blu-ray]

3.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Nov 06, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Mary Pickford is known today as the first film actress to achieve international super stardom. Funny, feisty, and diminutive, she was also the first actor to have complete artistic control of her films. And because Pickford chose to work with the best directors, writers, craftsmen and editors, what incredible films they are. These three titles (THE POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL, THE HOODLUM, and SPARROWS), newly remastered with full orchestral scores, demonstrate the star's commitment to excellence and the brilliant range of her acting. The RAGS & RICHES COLLECTION marks the first-ever release designed to introduce younger viewers to the pleasures of silent films. Each film includes a short intro featuring a group of kids who discover a treasure trove of old films in an attic and learn a lot about film history in the process. Each silent feature also has a separate audio track with spoken intertitles and explanations to help them enjoy the experience even more!!

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Pickford, Madlaine Traverse, Charles Wellesley, Gladys Fairbanks, Frank McGlynn Sr.
  • Directors: Maurice Tournier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Milestone
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 257 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008I3Q0B4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,386 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a wonderful collection of Mary Pickford films, and it's a shame that the rating has been spoiled by two rather querulous reviews. All three films are classics of the silent era and among Pickford's greatest. In fact, this set serves as a splendid introduction to Pickford's work as all three films represent different aspects of Pickford's cinema persona.

"The Poor Little Rich Girl" is the first film in which Mary Pickford plays a little girl over the course of an entire film, and it remains one of her best. It also marks the first time she works with screenwriter Frances Marion, who would become Pickford's closest collaborator over the next several years. "The Poor Little Rich Girl" is a remarkable evocation of childhood, capturing the wonder, the terror, and the ludic abandon of being a child more successfully than any film of its era.

In "The Hoodlum," Pickford plays a girl several years older than Gwendolyn and decidedly more tomboyish. Amy Burke is similar to many of Pickford's other high-spirited characters like Tess of the Storm Country, and, "The Hoodlum," like many of her other films, presents the disparities between the lives of the rich and those of the poor. I had never seen this film before viewing this DVD, but I was definitely pleased to see it at last as it is one of Pickford's finer efforts.

"Sparrows" is commonly cited as Pickford's masterwork, and in terms of the overall aesthetic quality of the production it very well may be. It definitely is a must-see for any fan of Pickford or silent film in general. In this film, Pickford plays a mother of sorts; in fact, her character is called "Mama Molly" by the children of the baby farm.
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Format: Blu-ray
Gladys Marie Smith, better known as Mary Pickford (1892-1979), was one Hollywood's first female megastars, a Canadian actress which would be known as "America's Sweetheart." Throughout her life, she starred in 52 films, ending her acting career in 1933, after the arrival of sound, to which she could not adapt. She was also called "The Girl with the Curls," which allowed her to play children, even in her twenties. Her power and popularity in the industry was also a key in her being one of the founders of United Artists, together with actor/comedian Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks (her popular actor and husband), and director D.W. Griffith. She was also one of the original founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Mary Pickford - Rags and Riches Collection" is an awesome collection that comprises three of Pickford's best films, and one of her movie shorts. In them, you will witness the greatness of her acting and extreme charisma in the high quality images of the Blu-ray. This is one remarkable and historically important collection that brings America's Sweetheart back to life, thanks to the gigantic effort from the folks at Milestone Film and Video.

"Mary Pickford - Rags and Riches Collection" includes three Blu-ray discs. The first one presents "The Poor Little Rich Girl" (1917), which opens with "In the house of everything, except the love she longed for, dwelt Gwendolyn, the poor little rich girl." These words perfectly describe, in the shortest way, what the film is about, in which Pickford plays Gwendolyn, daughter of a wealthy businessman and a mother that is too busy socializing to pay attention to her.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was extremely disappointed upon receiving this collection. These movies, all obviously from the pre-widescreen era, have been either formatted or encoded to display in a pseudo-widescreen format (meaning that they aren't 4:3, and display on my widescreen television not quite to either outer edge of the screen). I can only assume, based on this format, that some information has been lost top and bottom, as these movies were released in a 4:3 format.

I wrote to Milestone and they responded by telling me that the authoring was done to accomodate the needless "kid friendly" introductions. This makes little sense, as every other classic movie release is formatted such that the display quickly changes from widescreen for the FBI warning and/or menu, to a correctly formatted movie. There is no reason they couldn't have done that here.

Given that Milestone simultaneously released their Charley Chase collection formatted correctly, I can't understand why they put this Mary Pickford collection onto the market with this major error.

This is no reflection on the films themselves.....just on Milestone's release of the films. Also, this comment applies to the DVD ONLY! I do not have, and cannot comment on the Blu-Ray release of this collection.

As much as I hated to have to do so, I sent this one back for a refund. Maybe someday some studio will release these films correctly. I'll try again then.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After a number of DVD releases in the first years of this century, the number of Mary Pickford films now being released has come to a virtual standstill while those early offerings are now either out-of-print or outrageously priced. As a result of that, this Blu-Ray release is most welcome not only for being Mary's first Blu-Ray appaearance but for allowing us to see two films never before released in a quality transfer and for upgrading SPARROWS, one of her finest late films. Now it's time for the Mary Pickford Foundation to cut a deal with someone and get more of her films out there in the new format which allows for lots of extras as well as a quality visual experience compared to what has gone before.

The major virtue of this set is that we get to see Mary at 3 stages in the history of her little girl character. THE POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL (1917) the film that started it all, THE HOODLUM (1919) in which she exercised complete creative control and was at the height of her popularity and finally SPARROWS (1926), the last time she would play the character. THE POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL and THE HOODLUM are making their home video debuts. SPARROWS has been refurbished with a new orchestral score replacing the old Gaylord Carter organ score on the previous DVD. If you've never seen a Mary Pickford feature before than this is a good place to start but it certainly doesn't represent a complete picture of Pickford. Check out STELLA MARIS and THE LOVE LIGHT to see what she could do with adult roles.

THE POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL was originally a play and was more serious in tone than this picture makes it. Pickford and director Maurice Tourneur clashed over adding the humorous bits and when first screened for the Paramount brass, they hated it.
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