My Best Girl (1927)

At first, it might seem like Joe Merrill (Charles “Buddy” Rogers) has it all.  He’s handsome, he comes from a wealthy family, and he’s engaged to a beautiful woman named Millicent.  But there’s a catch.  In order to get his father’s blessing for their marriage, he needs to prove that he could be a success on his own without relying on the family name.  So he gets a job working in the stockroom of his family’s department store under an assumed name and finds himself working alongside Maggie Johnson (Mary Pickford).  Joe gets off to a little bit of a rough start as a stock boy, but Maggie helps him out and the two become good friends.  Thanks to her help, Joe quickly works his way up to being a manager.  Maggie and Joe even start to fall in love with each other.

Joe’s family has no idea that he is in love with someone else and his mother plans a huge surprise engagement party for him and Millicent, which he ends up skipping so he can spend an evening with Maggie instead.  While the two of them are walking around town, Joe suggests that they try to have dinner at the Merrill’s mansion.  Naturally, Maggie thinks he’s just kidding, but Joe convinces one of the butlers to go along with this rouse and they do end up having dinner there.  The two of them have a wonderful time until Joe’s family comes home along with Millicent.  Maggie finds out the truth about everything and is heartbroken.  But Joe has decided that Maggie is the one for him and is determined to win her back.

My Best Girl was Mary Pickford’s final silent film and is my favorite movie of hers.  Mary’s performance was simply brilliant and she and Buddy Rogers had such excellent chemistry together.  The story of a wealthy person falling in love with someone who isn’t rich is hardly original, but there is so much charm, humor, and real talent to be seen in My Best Girl that it shines much brighter than other movies with a similar premise.  It’s one of those movies I can watch if I’m having a bad day and it will always help make me smile.  This was definitely a fitting way for someone the caliber of Mary Pickford to end that chapter of her career.

For more on Mary Pickford, be sure to visit Classic Movies for more Mary Pickford Blogathon contributions!

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8 comments

  1. I love Mary and this is such a great film. It’s so good to see her as a grown-up and, of course, Buddy was just dreamy. A great entry in the blogathon!

  2. I always felt bad that Buddy Rogers had to live in Douglas Fairbanks’ shadow, even if he was married to Mary for so much longer. Wouldn’t it have been nice for him if his relationship was more like the only somewhat complicated, warm love affair in this movie? Ah well, at least we have this lovely fiction! Thanks for the review. I’m so glad you participated in the blogathon!

  3. Yeah, unfortunately the real marriage of Mary Pickford and Charles Buddy Rogers wasn’t as cute warm and romantic as this fictional version of their romance. According to Aileen Whitfield’s biography, Pickford would frequently drink to excess and accidentally refer to Buddy as “Doug”. Obviously she never fully got over Douglas Fairbanks.

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