If you’ve ever wondered what Mary Pickford did to deserve the title of “Queen of the Movies,” the book Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies (edited by Mary Pickford expert Christel Schmidt) will tell you everything you need to know and then some.
Rather than being a traditional biography that traces Mary Pickford’s life from birth to death, Queen of the Movies is a series of essays by noted film historians highlighting various aspects of Pickford’s life. Not only does it examine her work in films, both in front of and behind the camera, it also looks at her “America’s Sweetheart” image, her philanthropy, her childhood, her impact as a style icon, her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, and her efforts to help preserve America’s film legacy.
Queen of the Movies is beautifully illustrated with over two hundred movie stills, posters, and other photographs of Pickford. For me, the biggest treat was getting to see color photographs of some of Pickford’s costumes from movies such as Coquette, Tess of the Storm Country, Little Annie Rooney, and Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall. I’m always very curious to see what the costumes I’ve only seen in black and white really look like. But Queen of the Movies is much more than just a picture book. It has a good balance of real insight and eye candy.
Whether you’re a longtime Pickford fan or just getting acquainted with her work, you’re bound to enjoy Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies. It is a true celebration of the achievements of a remarkable woman.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy from University Press of Kentucky.