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Joe Merrill, son of the millionaire owner of a chain of 5 and 10 cent stores, poses as Joe Grant, and takes a job in the stockroom of one of his father's stores, to prove that he can be a success without his father's influence. There he meets stockroom girl Maggie Johnson, and they fall in love. This causes problems, because Mrs. Merrill had planned for her son to marry Millicent Rogers, a high society girl. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
There is a bittersweet quality to "My Best Girl" which has nothing to do with the on-screen action. This was Pickford's last silent film, and as such heralds the end of an era. Though she would continue with her career until 1933, sound and its early limitations really knocked her off her exalted pedestal.
It is also the film in which she co-starred with Buddy Rogers who became her husband for over forty years. (In the process she had to divorce Douglas Fairbanks, and anyone who cares even vaguely about silent film will have certain pangs of regret about that.)
In itself it is a beautifully constructed, engaging romance. Unusual for a Pickford feature, it tends to outstay its welcome towards the end, where Mary's histrionics are laid on a little thick. Buddy I find irritatingly enthusiastic - can't the man just laugh without slapping his knees?
But let's not nit pick. "My Best Girl" is a totally engaging piece of fluff; not up to the standards that Mary set in "Sparrows" and "Stella Maris", but still amongst her most accessible features today. See it if you can with the Gaylord Carter organ track.
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