With Sparrows, Mary Pickford once again gave her audience what they wanted by playing “the hoyden, the protector, the fighter.” Mary stars as the oldest of a dozen children held hostage at what was then called a “baby farm” where children of unwed mothers or deserted wives were deposited and then sold illegally to adoptive parents or as slave labor. By creating an empathetic melodrama that pulled on the heart strings, Pickford helped put a spotlight on this evil and increased public awareness and outrage. Directed by William Beaudine, with a stunning set created by Harry Oliver and filmed by three world class cinematographers, Charles Rosher, Karl Struss and Hal Mohr, Sparrows is a beautifully stylized epic, completed just as the industry neared the end of the silent era. Mary’s acting is not only superior, but this is her least glamorous role ever; she had to be a very confident actress to play such a character.
Sparrows was reconstructed by the Library of Congress from the best quality film elements, a 35MM nitrate print and a 35MM safety dupe negative. Additional lab work was performed by Colorlab. The Mary Pickford Foundation scanned the preservation elements in 4K, and worked closely Roundabout Entertainment, Inc. to complete all digital work, addressing imperfections to ensure that Sparrows is presented in its best possible form for a modern audience. Since this film is known for its stunning visuals, we worked hard to ensure that audiences today can enjoy it in all its splendor.
The Mary Pickford Company commissioned a new, original, orchestral score by the Graves Brothers, which was produced and recorded at the Savannah Studios in Los Angeles.
Sparrows includes a souvenir booklet featuring rare photographs and essays
by the Mary Pickford Foundation.
Mary Pickford (Molly), Roy Stewart (Dennis Wayne), Mary Louise Miller (Doris Wayne-the baby), Gustav von Seyffertitz (Mr. Grimes), Charlotte Mineau (Mrs. Grimes)
Hal Mohr, Charles Rosher, Karl Struss
Winifred Dunn/Story, George Marion Jr., C Gardner Sullivan (adaptation)
Cameron and Taylor Graves
Format Blu-ray + DVD
Language Silent with Musical Score
Audio PCM Stereo & Dolby Digital 5.1
Aspect Ratio HD 4x3 Pillar Boxed
Rating Not Rated
Color B&W with Color Tints