7.2/10
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Coquette (1929)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 6 April 1929 (USA)
A flirtatious southern belle is compromised with one of her beaus.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the stage production by), (based on the stage production by) | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Michael Jeffery (as John Mack Brown)
...
Stanley Wentworth
...
Dr. John Besant
...
Jimmy Besant
...
Jasper Carter
...
Robert Wentworth
...
Julia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Storyline

Norma Besant, daughter of a Southern doctor, is an incorrigible flirt and has many boys on her string. She begins to favor Michael Jeffrey, who, shiftless and hot-tempered but fundamentally honorable, is warned off by her father. When Michael returns after a long absence, the pair are innocently compromised, and Dr. Besant's old-South paternal rage brings tragedy. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her first 100% talking picture. (Newspaper ad). See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coqueta  »

Box Office

Budget:

$489,106 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Pickford's first sound film. See more »

Quotes

Norma Besant: We just naturally seem to have a lot to say to one another, don't we? I always did think you were interesting.
Michael Jeffery: Why, you haven't known me, but about two weeks.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

NOBODY KNOWS DE TROUBLE I'VE SEEN
(uncredited)
Traditional spiritual
Arranged by Henry Thacker Burleigh (1917)
Sung in part by uncredited actor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mary Pickford Wins an Oscar
18 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Broadway play COQUETTE ran for a year in the late 20s, starring Helen Hayes. Mary Pickford hoped that this vehicle would be a solid entrance into the new sound medium as well as scuttle her "little Mary" image that had plagued her for the last decade.

At age 37, Pickford is too old to play Norma Besant, BUT she looks great so the age factor is not really a problem. The problem is the play. It's creaky and far-fetched and doesn't work as a late 20s film. The fault is not with Pickford, who turns in a terrific performance although in a few spots it all gets rather stagy.

Also very good is Johnny Mack Brown as Michael. He exhibits some real fireworks in the argument scene with Pickford's father (John St. Polis). But these 2 good performers can't save the film from the rotten acting of St. Polis (he plays a despicable character) and William Janney who plays brother Jimmy. Matt Moore plays a sad-sack suitor to no great effect, and Henry Kolker is over the top as the prosecuting lawyer.

The screenplay is probably too close to the stage play, and director Sam Taylor seems to have absolutely NO ear for dialog or eye for composition.

Despite the antiquated story about southern pride and the value of truth, Pickford and Brown are well worth watching. Louise Beavers is also good as the maid. The court room scenes are solid with Pickford giving a terrific performance as the irony of the murder become clear. Her final scene, walking from the court house and down the street is quite memorable in its beauty and simplicity.

Yes, Mary Pickford won an Oscar for this performance, but the award is likely for the 20 years of films and superstardom she brought to this talkie debut. She was the biggest star in films for many, many years and deserved the Oscar for this brave performance, even if the film itself is not terribly good.


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