With her family in financial difficulties, Rebecca is sent to live with her two strict, unfeeling aunts, who do not appreciate the young girl's charm and energy. Rebecca must make new ... See full summary »
With her family in financial difficulties, Rebecca is sent to live with her two strict, unfeeling aunts, who do not appreciate the young girl's charm and energy. Rebecca must make new friends and must adjust to surroundings that are sometimes difficult. But she still finds time to think of numerous ways to help others in her new hometown. Written by
Mary Pickford in Rebecca opens a window on a vanished world
Saw Rebecca for the first time at the UCLA 2004 Restoration Festival. Obviously, Mary Pickford steals the show in a series of vignettes loosely tied together by screenwriter Frances Marion from the original children's story. Pickford is the original coquette, tiny (just watch her dancing with her "beau" in one scene), her head a mass of curls and a spunky spirit that's very twenty first century. However, there is much of the film that is dated and does not resonate with a modern audience.Of course, that's what I enjoyed most about the film- gazing back into a world which no longer exists. We get a glimpse at Victorian sensibilities- the movie was made in 1917-and harks back to an even earlier time. Much of the plot is devoted to Rebecca's heart warming but somewhat patronizing efforts to succor the woeful and shiftless Simpson family (now that's funny). The Simpsons are poor, badly dressed and lack a parlor lamp and a wedding band, until Rebecca comes along.
At times, it's disconcerting to see Pickford play a young teen because for all the prancing,pouting and curl tossing, Mary is clearly an adult woman. Even creepier is the abject attention this little girl is receiving from the village's most eligible bachelor, but I guess back even in 1917 people wanted to see a love story. Still, the film is an old fashioned pleasure, with many charming gags and characters, and over much too soon.
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