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Helena Bonham Carter,
Amarilly comes from a large family in a working-class neighborhood. She is happy with her family and her boyfriend Terry, a bartender in a cafe. But one day she meets Gordon, a sculptor who comes from a rich family, and she begins to be drawn into the world of the upper class. Written by
Tom Wilson's part was originally supposed to be played by Eric Campbell, who had played the "heavy" with Charles Chaplin the previous two years. Campbell was killed in an auto accident on December 28, 1917, a week prior to the start of this film's production. Wilson would play a uniformed policeman in Chaplin's The Kid (1921). See more »
In this 1918 film, Mary Pickford plays a down-to-earth Irish working class girl, complete with her washer-woman ma and 5 rambunctious brothers. The plot is perfunctory: she has an equally down-to-earth bartender boyfriend, but gets involved with dashing upper-crust sculptor Norman Kerry (who's handsome even to modern eyes!) until used as a "social experiment" by Kerry's socialite aunt, which she justifiably resents.
No big surprises, but a wealth of small, charming moments. The film is undeniably creaky (it is 82 years old!), but actually flows together quite well. Its age is also, undeniably, part of its charm - it fascinates me to see these products of another era. There is a melodramatic turn at the end that seems to come out of the blue, but perhaps it was a nod to the fact that Amarilly's neighbourhood was undoubtedly a dangerous environment to live in.
Its not difficult at all to see why Mary Pickford was "America's Sweetheart". This was the first complete movie of hers that I've watched, and I hope to see more. She's delightful - warm and sweet, and blessed with a heart-melting smile.
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