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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Pickford - Rags and Riches Collection
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...
Published 20 months ago by Carlos E. Velasquez

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor coding / authoring
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...
Published 20 months ago by JDC


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Pickford - Rags and Riches Collection, December 12, 2012
This review is from: Rags and Riches: The Mary Pickford Collection (The Poor Little Rich Girl / The Hoodlum / Sparrows / Ramona) [Blu-ray] (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. She desperately wants to experience the world outside their big house, and finds ways to do just that, only to be punished for being a free little poor girl, telling her dad, "I had lots and lots to tell you, daddy. I'm so lonely, I..." This is a heartbreaking story with lots of funny moments. Disc Two includes "The Hoodlum" (1919), featuring Pickford as Amy Burke, a spoiled, rich girl who inherited her grandfather's "tyrannical temper as well as his money." Her father, on the other hand, is an intellectual, described as a "sociological writer," who lives in a poor immigrant neighborhood, doing research and writing a book. Her grandfather goes for a vacation to Europe and invites her to come along, but she chooses to stay with her father. Little did she know about the big change in lifestyle that she was going to experience. Here, Pickford shines with her natural ability for slapstick comedy - my favorite of the three films. This disc also features "Ramona," a 17 min short done in 1917, starring Pickford. In Disc three, on the other hand, we have "Sparrows" (1926), perhaps the most serious and dramatic film of the collection, which opens with, "The Devil's share in the world's creation was a certain southern swampland - a masterpiece of horror." In this film, Pickford stars as Molly, the oldest of a group of children which have been stolen from their parents and/or been allowed to be cared of by a man named Grimes. Sadly, the children parents' don't know that Grimes is a mean-spirited, abusive old man who treats the kids as slaves and starve them to death, if possible, stealing the money that the parents send for their children's welfare. Grimes, his wife, and his wife's son have the perfect criminal operation running, at times "shoving" the kids that they didn't like in the swamp. So, as you can imagine, is up to Molly to find a way out from their misery. This movie has a dose of Christianity and hilarious moments created by Pickford, who, once again, proves why he was so talented.

Each film in this collection has an introduction for kids, in which Pickford, as well as B&W silent movies are introduced to them in a very smart way. In addition, there are commentaries by film historians; home movies on Pickfair, Pickford and Fairbanks' home, featuring Charlie Chaplin and others; outtakes; trailers; and much more. This is one truly wonderful collection that makes a great Christmas present for all family, in which all will enjoy and perhaps discover the talents of one of the best actresses of cinema's silent era. Great job, Milestone, for your hard work in releasing this collection! (USA, The Poor Little Rich Girl, 1917, 75 min, B&W or tinted; The Hoodlum, 1919, 92 min, B&W or tinted; Sparrows, 1926, 90 min, B&W or tinted) Reviewed on December 10, 2012 by Eric Gonzales for Milestone Film and Video Blu-ray
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Riches of Mary Pickford, March 28, 2013
By 
Sherringford Clark (Mayor's Income, Tennessee) - See all my reviews
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. (Indeed, the three films of this collection neatly represent three different ages in the life of a woman: girlhood, adolescence, and finally motherhood.) The supporting cast is wonderful as well, and all of the children deliver very realistic performances. "Sparrows" is a beautifully acted and directed film and represents silent film at its peak.

There are some bonus features to the set, including two very informative audio commentaries for "The Poor Little Rich Girl" and "Sparrows," the D.W. Griffith-directed short "Ramona," some home videos of Pickford and Pickfair, and three "kid-friendly" introductions to the films (with the sort of embarrassingly bad acting you would expect). While I appreciate the wish to impart Pickford's legacy to the next generation, it's hard to see how these intros wouldn't turn off any young viewers.

Another reviewer states that the films display in "pseudo-widescreen," and while I really am no expert, I think that what Hugh Munro Neely says in the comments to that review is actually correct. As he states there, the films appear slightly wider than the traditional 4x3 aspect ratio because more of the original negative is included. I don't see why cropping the negative to adhere to rigid 4x3 would be better. I have played the DVDs on a 4x3 and 16x9 TV screen, and while there is windowboxing on the 4x3 TV, it is not as severe as others make it seem. The films all display correctly on my 16x9 TV, slightly wider than traditional 4x3 as more image is included. I for one applaud Mr. Neely's decision to include all of the image on the negative.

I am so glad that Milestone Films is continuing to release Mary Pickford's films on DVD, as they do a wonderful job. I doubt Criterion could present the films any better, and all three films look beautiful in this set. I can't wait for future releases! (Maybe "Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall"?)
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor coding / authoring, December 10, 2012
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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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Silent Films, December 20, 2012
By 
Duane A. White (Kirkland, WA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rags and Riches: The Mary Pickford Collection (The Poor Little Rich Girl / The Hoodlum / Sparrows / Ramona) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This collection is beautifully restored and the optional introductions are extremely valuable if you wish to introduce a young person to this era of film making.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Mary Pickford fans and all silent film buffs, July 8, 2013
By 
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) - See all my reviews
The Mary Pickford Collection was released last year and it is one gem of a DVD collection.Included in this three DVD set are four films that I think are a good opening starter and representation of Mary and her works.They are all historical treasures and it brings back to the fore that peerless talent that was Mary Pickford.She could make you laugh and cry all within the span of a few seconds.Many people think Mary's films are sweet,soppy and overly sugar coated films of a by gone era.Nothing could be further from the truth.She had a way of creating characters that spoke to each and everyone in a theater seat.Everyone could relate to and probably knew many of the character types in her films.There was also a dark undercurrent and/or very realistic tone running through them all.And these four films more than show that concurrent running dark side:she is either in the "thick of it" and trying to cope with the situations as they present themselves,or she is initially above it but ends up tumbling into reality,picking herself up,and learning along the way a valuable life lesson/compassion.Comedy,drama,pathos and so much more are all part of Pickford's artistic canvas,and she used them like no other artist before her or since has.
It is a shame that when she retired she felt that the public at large did not care for her films and/or saw them as totally antiquated celluloid.It is shocking to day to think that could have been the case,but I have the very issue of Life magazine in the early 40s that showed a picture of a happy Mary strolling beside the young girl who took her crown away from her in the 30s,Shirley Temple.The title reads:"A Couple of Has Beens".Both had been tremendous stars with unprecedented box office appeal/receipts,but this is what they had been distilled into.Well,luckily there were those who saw the value of Mary's contributions,and we have a good portion of her work still with us, but sadly not nearly all of it.And we have The Mary Pickford Foundation in Los Angeles to thank along with Milestone Video for their tireless efforts to make these major releases of her wonderful works.
The Poor Little Rich Girl(released March/17)has Mary in the title role as a rich girl who has everything,but the love she so yearns for from her parents.She is not allowed to play outside and she is literally brought up by one servant or the other.One night when one servant wants to go out to socialize but cannot because of her duties,she over drugs poor Mary,who almost dies.But there is a happy ending when her materialistic and selfish parents finally see the light.There is commentary included and a very special piece of historic film.Some home movies at Pickfair featuring Mary,Douglas(Fairbanks) and Charlie Chaplin!
The Hoodlum(released Aug/19)has Mary as a rich and spoiled teenage girl living with her grandfather.As her grandfather plans a European trip Mary's father enters the picture.She decides to stay with him and they both end up in a seedy part of New York City.She is quickly forced to adapt.Her grandfather disguises himself and comes to live in the same tenement building as she and her father.Thrown into this mix is some intrigue her grandfather,a wealthy and stodgy businessman,pinned on an innocent ex employee who Mary falls in love with.The extra on this disc is Mary in the 1910 Biograph short Ramona.Mary plays a Spanish girl who falls in love with an Indian.The film follows the persecution of the two and its unhappy consequences.
Sparrows(released May/26)has Mary as a young girl on a baby farm in a swampy part of the countryside.It's owner is a snide,morally corrupt and all around nasty character,who will buy or sell children at will,just to make money.He relies on Mary to look after his charges,but gives Mary little in the way of food or proper living conditions with which to do a proper job.When one of her precious babies dies,Mary ends up leading the rest out of the swamp to freedom.This film has commentary,an interview with the now grown up daughter of the baby who died in Sparrows,three film tests of Mary in the barn loft holding the dead baby in her arms as an angel comes to take the babies' soul away,and an extra special item:the TRAILER for the film.I have never ever seen a silent film trailer at all and this was quite the revelation for me.
Technically speaking the films are presented in their original aspect ratios.The films on your set are surrounded on all four sides by black.The film doesn't fill the screen.The films have the usual visual specks and defections associated with films of this age,but they generally look very good.All have been tinted(except Ramona).What also makes this DVD set special is that The Mary Pickford Foundation has included as an intro and outro,if you so desire(it is optional),i.e.,vignettes with young teens coming to the attic of one of their friend's grandfather.He explains who Mary was,the process of film making in the "silent" era,the camera's,and on and on.These DVD's have been designed to give a new and younger audience a heads up and hopefully create a new generation of not only Mary Pickford fans but of the art of silent film in toto.I can say I was duly impressed.This wasn't some cheesy production at all and I thought the impression it gave came across as great food for thought for younger budding film and Mary novices.
In conclusion this set is a grand introduction to the world of,I believe,the greatest actress of her or any other generation.Mary was ahead of her time and accomplished what few actors of any genre have ever accomplished.Kudos to Milestone and The Mary Pickford Foundation.Let us hope this is just the start in a long line of Mary Pickford releases.
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy effort, December 4, 2012
By 
James B. Mccann "Film Scholar" (REDFORD, MICHIGAN United States) - See all my reviews
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While I am always happy to see any collection of silent films, I'm a little disappointed here. Flicker Alley put together a great collection of films by Douglas Fairbanks. Kino did the same with his features. Where are all the Pickford films? This collection is only a starting point. Buy if you are curious, these are great films. All others will agree we need more attention to this great lady of the silent film.
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie isn't what I was looking for, December 30, 2013
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This movie isn't what I was looking for. I was looking for "Poor rich girl" tha one that is the biography of Barbara Huton, and this movie that I bought is another
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