We're looking for contributors

SPARROWS - Mary Pickford

Sparrows (1926)

Director: William Beaudine. Screenplay: C. Gardner Sullivan (adaptation); George Marion Jr. (titles); from a story by Winifred Dunn. Cast: Mary Pickford, Roy Stewart, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Spec O'Donnell, Billy Butts

 

Mary Pickford, Spec O'Donnell in Sparrows

 

Mary Pickford in Sparrows by William BeaudineMolly is the role Mary Pickford was born to play. In Sparrows, Molly is the oldest among the ten orphans being kept as slaves on a potato farm. And as most Pickford characters, Molly is a sweet-but-spunky victim who fights back.

Directed by the prolific William Beaudine, and adapted by C. Gardner Sullivan from a story by Winifred Dunn, Sparrows borders on the perverse. The film's theme is child trafficking and the filmmakers pull no punches in their depiction of that social ill. Children are either being sold into slavery to "pick bugs off pertaters," or being threatened to be "chucked in the swamp." (The fiend who keeps them imprisoned is played menacingly by silent era villain Gustav von Seyffertitz.)

One scene in particular is quite touching. As the children – hiding inside a barn – say goodbye to another child who is being sold, all they can do is stick their tiny hands through the cracks in the door and silently wave.

When Mary and her brood finally escape the baby farm, the adventure begins. They must survive quicksand, swamps, and hungry alligators on their way to freedom. Needless to say, those are processed shots; nevertheless, they are quite realistic.

The film's biggest jaw-dropping sequence, however, is not the one in which the kids crawl across an alligator-infested river on a slowly breaking tree trunk. In fact, what most impressed me about Sparrows wasn't the suspense, the violence, or the depravity. Instead, it was when Little Molly was futilely rocking a dying baby in her arms, as Jesus Christ himself appears with his staff and his flock of sheep. He takes the baby in his arms and walks away into the mist.

Ah, they just don't make 'em like they used to, anymore.

© Danny Fortune

If you liked the article SPARROWS - Mary Pickford, please recommend it to your friends. See share buttons above and on the left.
Follow Alt Film Guide on Google+, Facebook and/or join the FB group All About Movies.
SPARROWS - Mary Pickford © 2004-2015 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s). Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Continue Reading: Errol Flynn THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD Screening

Previous Post: GRAND PRIX on Turner Classic Movies


Click on 'Load Comments' to leave a comment and/or read previous comments about SPARROWS - Mary Pickford.

Important: Different views and opinions are perfectly fine, but courtesy and respect are imperative. Abusive, bigoted, baseless (spreading misinformation), and/or trollish/inflammatory comments will be blocked and offenders may be banned.




FILM ARCHIVES

SORRELL AND SON 1927 Rare Screening
CHICAGO Cecil B. DeMille
FINIS TERRAE (1929): Jean Epstein Classic at the Barbican
Raquel Welch Quotes: MYRA BRECKINRIDGE / Mae West
Best Films - 1962
Under Full Sail - Silent Cinema on the High Seas
THE MERRY WIDOW Review - Jeanette MacDonald, Maurice Chevalier
Movies! Moguls! Monkeys! and Murder!: Centennial of Los Angeles' First Film Studio
Ann Rutherford, Daniel Selznick, Cammie King at GONE WITH THE WIND Screening
Clark Gable on TCM
Japanese Horror Classics: GOKE, HAUSU at the Egyptian
Rooney Mara as THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO's Lisbeth Salander: Good Choice?
Jennifer Jones Movie Memorabilia Auction: DUEL IN THE SUN, GONE WITH THE WIND Screenplays
THE 400 BLOWS Review Pt.2 - Jean-Pierre Léaud
'The Deer Hunter,' 'Little Women': Packard Movies
Tarzan Chimp Cheeta Dies at 80, or Most Likely Not
Rita Hayworth: 'Gilda,' 'The Lady from Shanghai'
Tony Martin MGM Musicals
Mary Boland: Actress Has Summer Under the Stars Day
Rex Harrison Hat: From MY FAIR LADY to ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM