Her First Biscuits (1909)
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I don't know where people are seeing this film, I haven't been able to find it to watch.
Appearing in the flickers was demeaning but a way to make extra cash and in those days getting your hands on extra cash was essential to living. Mary with a little sister, brother and mother was a major income earner for the family in acting on the stage. Mary was just starting to 'make it' as a stage actress and would have certainly gone on to some reasonable success there, Belasco liked her work. But it was often seasonable and unreliable.
The early movies were uncredited and actors didn't use their real names in any case to avoid the 'shame' of appearing on film.
So Mary's appearance and early tenure at Biograph whilst as a young girl she was certainly no push-over for Griffith's or the others. Mary had already lived a rough and tough and exhausting stage career from a little girl. This Mary had a hard and feisty edge to herself (probably from her hard headed and smart mother). Incidentally it was this strength of character in such a cute little package that attracted Griffith to her.
"Biograph Girl" Lawrence shines. There is mild fun in watching a slew of 1909 D.W. Griffith players acting "theatrical" after partaking of Lawrence's distasteful biscuits! Not surprisingly, Mack Sennett is a stand-out among the bunch - however, for the most part, the promising comedy bits/situations are far too underdeveloped to make this film a comic classic.
*** Her First Biscuits (6/17/09) D.W. Griffith ~ Florence Lawrence, John R. Cumpson, Mack Sennett
**** (out of 4)
Hilarious black comedy/slapstick from Griffith. A new wife makes her first batch of biscuits for her husband. While they make him gag, he lies and says they're very good. The wife then sends a bag to his work for his co-workers and soon everyone's rushing towards the bathroom. I guess Griffith could do comedy when he wanted. I found myself with tears in my eyes due to all the laughing. The facial expressions of some of the victims were just downright hilarious and the ending was great as well. Mary Pickford has a small role.
Way of Man, The (1909)
** (out of 4)
After being disfigred in an accident, a woman refuses to marry her lover and instead tries to fix him up with her best friend. I'm not sure what Griffith was going for here but it doesn't work. There's some nice cinematography and an early but small role by Mary Pickford.