Although only 2 reels of this early Pickford feature survive, they look great and makes us long for more.
People who are not used to see good silent films are surprised to see a 1915 film this good. The acting is natural and fascinating, the sets, lighting and costumes are all first rate. Remember these big stars of early film had that `star' quality, that indefinable something that grabs our attention and makes us care. Pickford, Neilan and MacDonald are all excellent and I hope someday the rest of this film is found! PLOT: The relationship between a plucky daughter and her brutish father is dissected in this classic Mary Pickford drama set in a mining community. Pickford plays "Rags," a pretty but wild girl who defends her alcoholic father (J. Farrell MacDonald), a disgraced bank cashier, no matter how he mistreats her. Enter a handsome engineer (Marshall Neilan), whose family had once fired Rag's father for theft. Rags falls in love but realizes that marriage is a hopeless proposition considering her lowly place in society. But when she learns that her father plans to rob the newcomer, Rags betrays him to the sheriff, and he is shot in the ensuing battle. Before he expires, however, the old man writes to his former employer to take care of Rags. She journeys East, becomes a proper lady, and can soon plan a future with the handsome engineer. Written for the screen by Frances Marion and Pickford herself, Rags was based on a novel by Edith Barnard Delano, whose Hulda from Holland was filmed by Pickford the following year. According to her own account, it was seeing her name in lights on Broadway advertising Rags that persuaded Mary Pickford to re-negotiate her contract with Famous Players-Lasky (Paramount).
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