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" Mary Pickford First Actress To Fly In Plane On Screen "

Author: PamelaShort from Canada
7 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For fans of Mary Pickford it is a tragedy that this silent film no longer survives. It starred Mary along with her brother Jack Pickford - the first film in which they appear as brother and sister. I have read that Frances Marion did not write the script, but Mary convinced her to play the role of the society vamp. Also fellow Biograph player Donald Crisp appears in this Allan Dwan directed film. The story is about orphaned brother John and sister Jane, raised up by a hopelessly old-fashioned aunt who has kept them ignorant of what is going on in the world. When Jane inherits a large sum of money, she and her brother break out of their ivory tower and link up with the up-to-date, wild next door neighbours. The film gave Mary a chance to display the latest fashions and to demonstrate her skills at golf, at sailing and most exciting of all, at flying. Pioneer aviator Glenn Martin answered Famous Players ad to play the pilot. For most of the aerial shots a double wearing a blonde wig was used. But an important shot was needed to establish Mary in the aircraft. According to Allan Dwan, mother Charlotte Pickford would allow Mary to go up in the plane only if it flew no higher than 100 feet from the ground. This was more dangerous than flying at a regular altitude, so Dwan came up with a clever solution. He instructed the camera car to drive to the crest of the foothills in Griffith Park, and while the plane followed the topography of the winding road, the car would keep pace with the plane. To keep up with it they had to go at a great speed, and when finished it was an impressive shot. Only photo stills are all that survive of this sadly lost unique silent film

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