Friday, December 18, 2009

"My Best Girl" (1927) Mary Pickford

"My Best Girl" (1927) is a silent romantic comedy that stars the legendary Mary Pickford and Charles "Buddy" Rogers. Directed by Sam Taylor, this film is actually a Cinderella story set in the Roaring Twenties. The story begins with Maggie Johnson, played by Mary Pickford, working as a stock room clerk in Merrill's Department Store. She is first seen as nothing but a pair of feet in worn shoes and dark stockings.

As she hurries down the store aisle overburdened with pots and pans, she drops one, picks it up, drops another, picks it up, until finally she puts her foot in one of the pans to slide it along. One day, while covering a salesclerk's station, Maggie encounters Joe Grant, played by Charles "Buddy" Rogers, a new co-worker with a charming smile. The two are mutually attracted, and Joe is happily assigned to be Maggie's stockroom ward. What Maggie does not know is that Joe Grant is really Joe Merrill, the son of the millionaire store owner, working in disguise to learn the business from the ground up. Joe is engaged to an upper-class girl named Millicent, but she does not interest him as much as Maggie does. The two co-workers eat lunch together and sometimes sit in a large crate in the stockroom. When Joe and Maggie fall in love, he takes her to his mansion for dinner, telling her that the slogan of the boss is "We are all one happy family" and they're sure to be welcome. Winking to let his butler in on things, Joe escorts Maggie to the dinner table where they pretend to be "Mr. and Mrs." When Joe's parents come home unexpectedly, Maggie hides under the dining room table. Joe remains standing to meet the Merrills. Hearing their conversation, Maggie finally realizes that she has been romancing the son of the store owner. At this point, Maggie runs back to her eccentric family on Goat Hill which includes her clumsy father, tearful mother, and depraved sister. Is Maggie and Joe's love affair over? "My Best Girl" was Mary Pickford's final silent film. Pickford 's film debut in 1909 began her rapid rise in the industry, as audiences responded to "the Little Girl with the Golden Curls." By 1912, she was known as "the Queen of the Movies." Pickford was actually the most popular female movie star in the world when she joined Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Charles Chaplin in 1919 to form United Artists. In 1927, she became one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Often known simply as "America's Sweetheart," she was the first female superstar and a shrewd businesswoman who took charge of her career. "My Best Girl" is one of Pickford's finest performances. Rogers and Pickford had great chemistry and their love scenes together are magical. There are plenty of comical moments in the film and the cast is so delightful. The final scene is both funny and heartbreaking. "My Best Girl" is not only one of Hollywood's greatest romantic comedies, but it is also a nice glimpse of city life during the 1920's.
* It is interesting to note that Mary Pickford married her handsome co-star from "My Best Girl," Charles "Buddy" Rogers, in 1937. Their marriage lasted for forty-two years, until her death.


  1. Silent, This movie sounds really good. Thank you for posting some fun facts. I also love to watch movies with a glimse of past city life. Amazing that her marriage lasted 42 years.

  2. Dawn, I love the clip you included from youtube. It is such a funny and touching film. I loved watching the department store scenes and the merchandise that are probably antiques today. The window displays and 1920's cars are also wonderful to look at. I think you would enjoy this film.


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