Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood

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University Press of Kentucky, Aug 31, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 441 pages
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"A knockout of a biography." -- Newsweek A silent-film star. A woman who played children, wide-eyed and gamine, skipping about in frills and long curls. That's how most people remember Mary Pickford. In reality, Pickford was a towering figure in movie history, central to the evolution of film acting and the development of the Hollywood motion picture industry. Born in Toronto in 1892, Pickford began acting as a child. She switched from stage to film at seventeen, joining D.W. Griffith's Biograph Company, and became almost unimaginably popular. This allowed her to dictate the terms of her contracts -- power she seized and consolidated. She developed her own production company at Adolph Zukor's Famous Players, and in 1919 she co-founded United Artists (along with Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks), taking not only creative control but also direction of the marketing and distribution of her films. Eight years in the making, this definitive biography brings Pickford to life as a complex knot of contradictions and establishes her as a groundbreaking genius, casting new light on one of the most influential and least understood artists in the history of popular culture. Eileen Whitfield recreates Pickford's life in meticulously researched detail, from her trying days in turn-of-the-century Toronto through her reign as mistress of Pickfair, the legendary Beverly Hills estate at which she and Fairbanks entertained the world's elite, to her sadly moving demise. Along the way, Whitfield explores the intricate psychology that tied Pickford to her mother throughout her life and analyzes Pickford's brilliant innovations in the art of film acting, her profound influence on the movie business, and her role in the history of fame: once the best known woman in the world, she was the object of a mass adoration that prefigured today's cult of celebrity.

 

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PICKFORD: The Woman Who Made Hollywood

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A capable account of the life and times of one of the greats of the silent-movie era. Combining emotionally subtle, naturalistic acting with a sweet, wholesome demeanor, Pickford was one of the world ... Read full review

Pickford: the woman who made Hollywood

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Silent screen star Mary Pickford was "America's Sweetheart," capturing the imagination of the public as "Little Mary," the adolescent with spunk. She married swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks, and with ... Read full review

Contents

II
1
III
5
IV
20
V
36
VI
62
VII
81
VIII
112
IX
147
XII
250
XIII
299
XIV
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XV
365
XVI
375
XVII
407
XVIII
416
XIX
427

X
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XI
206

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About the author (2007)

Eileen Whitfield is a journalist who writes for Toronto Life. She lives in Toronto.

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