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
Mrs. Martha Marlowe:
Flowers, food, champagne and whiskeys. Enough for about 40 people. That will cost money. And getting the money from your father, in these times, will not be simple. You seem very much interested, my pet.
I fear I'm not the least interested, Mama.
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Pickford's screen swan song is her best talkie, admittedly not a high bar, that moves at breakneck speed through its tale of the romance, marriage, struggles and ultimate success of its main couple. It crams too much into its 83 minute running time but as early sound films go it's not bad.
At 42 she's unconvincing as a young belle at the beginning of the film but after about ten minutes she's out of that guise and from then on her performance is quite good. Unsurprisingly her strongest moments, as well as the film's, are the one's without dialog. It gives a peek at why she was one of the queens of silents and it seems regretful that just as she was adjusting to sound she chose to withdraw.
The film wasn't a hit on release and Mary, nothing if not canny, sensed that though the parade had not passed her by as of yet it was just around the corner. So she retired, enormously wealthy and a power broker behind the scenes.
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