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A spoiled young rich girl is forced by misfortune to fight for survival in the slums and alleys, where she becomes involved with all manner of unpleasantness. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
words by Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young, music by Harry Ruby, c. 1919
'Dedicated to Mary Pickford in "The Hoodlum" her second picture from her own studios, A First National Attraction' See more »
Mary Pickford's appeal as `America's Sweetheart' is very clear in this film. While many of her fellow actors use an excessively theatrical style, she is totally natural. She inhabits her character completely and, contrary to the stereotype of her films, that character is anything but sweet for most of the movie. In fact, much of the delight of watching her is in enjoying her bad behavior!
Another impressive facet of the film is the authentic-looking slum where Amy Burke (Pickford's character) spends most of her time. Although created at a Hollywood studio, the slum almost smells like old New York.
The film does employ some ethnic stereotypes common at the time but the poor characters are generally treated with affection, while the rich are seen as uncaring and in need of enlightenment. Also, it seems notable that Amy associates with ALL the kids of the slum neighborhood, not just those of her own ethnic group.
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