Mary Pickford portrait 1
Photographer unknown, circa 1917
Photographer, Ira L. Hill, circa 1915
Photographer, Nelson Evans, 1921
The Mary Pickford Story

Mary Pickford was a talented performer, a creative producer and a savvy businesswoman who helped shape the film industry as we know it today. While she was a founder of United Artists, the Motion Picture Television Fund and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, her greatest fame came as an actor. In less than a decade, she went from making ten dollars a week to being the first actor to be offered a million dollars a year. Her popularity and box office power are almost impossible to imagine today. In over 100 short films and over two dozen feature films, Mary played a wide variety of characters, and now these films will be shared with a new generation of fans.

Mary Pickford’s philanthropy was a hallmark of her entire life and by creating her Foundation, she assured that her commitment to her craft, her community and her giving would continue way behind her passing in 1979. The Mary Pickford Foundation works actively to inspire future generations of women and filmmakers in many ways, including the restoration, preservation, and distribution of her films. For more information, please see MaryPickford.org

Fanchon the Cricket (1915) and Little Annie Rooney (1925) are stunning restorations from 4K scans of the original negatives and feature new musical scores produced exclusively for these editions. In addition, all DVDs include picture filled liner notes with behind-the-scenes stories of the making of the movies and Mary’s life at the time. Sparrows has been meticulously restored by the Library of Congress, and digitally mastered in 4K by the foundation, and it features an original orchestral score by The Graves Brothers.

The foundation is currently partnering with various archives to focus on restoring, digital mastering and producing new scores for release on multiple Pickford titles, including The Little American, A Little Princess, Stella Maris, Amarilly of Clothesline Alley, Johanna Enlists, The Love Light, and My Best Girl. To learn more about the foundation’s preservation work, please visit https://marypickford.org/preservation-work/

These new deluxe, dual disc Blu-ray / DVD editions from the Mary Pickford Foundation, are ‘the first of a planned series of her films’ and what a delight it is to see them!  The care taken in both restorations has delivered clarity of vision, crisp tonal definition, exquisite colour tinting and a seamless flow of storytelling. Sensitively accompanied by new scores, there’s a fresh, exuberant spirit in how these films are presented, perfectly in keeping with the intelligence, empathy and wit we see in Pickford on screen. Big screen cinema/ live musical accompaniment experience aside, you won’t find a better introduction to Pickford’s work for contemporary audiences.

Yes, this is entertainment, but in the current climate, Pickford’s heroic determination and humanity steps right off the screen into our living rooms. This is an exciting start to an entire process of restoration, reappraisal and Renaissance, for Mary Pickford and for women in film.

These two films are exceptional re-releases as another tribute to the significance of The Mary Pickford Foundation. Hopefully, more viewers will rediscover the star, discern what really lay behind her most well-known images, and recognize her contribution to Hollywood cinema and the role of women in film production.