In the late 1800s New England, banker William Marlowe and his wife Martha have arranged for their daughter Mary to marry the officious and older Lord Hurley of England. Mary does not want ...
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In the late 1800s New England, banker William Marlowe and his wife Martha have arranged for their daughter Mary to marry the officious and older Lord Hurley of England. Mary does not want to marry Lord Hurley, but rather John Carlton, a lowly clerk at her father's bank. The two fell in love at first sight. When John and Mary's relationship is discovered by her parents, William discharges John. Knowing he can't get another job in New England, John decides to move west to California to start a new life off the land. Despite the probable hardships, Mary wants to go along and the two elope. They do face those initial hardships, most specifically an especially violent encounter with cattle rustlers, but they are able to carve out a successful life as ranchers. Twenty years, several children and a mansion of their own later, John is a popular choice to run for governor. Some past indiscretions may not only threaten his gubernatorial run but his marriage altogether. Written by
Yes, it's dated now, but it has moments that are riveting by any standard. Both Mary Pickford and Leslie Howard are very good, and give the film an authenticity that is rare indeed.
Pickford goes from somewhat naive young Eastern girl to frontier housewife in convincing manner, endures the hardships, bolsters the reticent Howard, and raises her family that over the roughly 50 years, transitions to success.
Her scenes in the cabin, under attack, are not to be missed. I think her experience in silents helped her in these, because even without dialogue, she conveyed panic, terror, resolution, grief, yet determination within seconds. Not many actors could have done it.
One terrific part, is that all the costumes and armaments were original. None of the hats had the silly "cowboy roll" of later years, the gun-belts I hope made it to collections.
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