In discussions of the great silent-era stars and filmmakers, names such as D.W. Griffith, Fritz Lang, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton attract much of the attention. However, other stars who were hugely popular in the '10s and '20s have been neglected and deemed largely unworthy of critical commentary. Unfortunately, Mary Pickford is one of these stars. Today, her movies are widely considered as unsophisticated melodramas. Even Mary Pickford herself doubted the importance of her movies. After she retired in 1933, she began buying all existing prints of her movies with the intention of having them all torched. However, before she died in 1979, she thankfully changed her mind.
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