Jack Pickford, Mary Pickford's younger brother, was a film star in his own right. He evokes a boyish charm I find appealing - in his personal life he was known for having a wild side.
Film Reviews - Plot Summaries and Ratings
- Tom Sawyer (1917) - Spunky Tom loves to fight, eat watermelon, hang out with the dirtiest, missing-toothed, raggedy-clothed Huckleberry Finn ever put on film, and flirt with new girl Becky Thatcher. I love Jack Pickford's portrayal of Tom Sawyer - and, well, I do have a sort of crush on him. Nice outdoor scenes and a feeling of the "old days" gives this film a special boost in my book. The DVD I have of this is from Unknown Video and also includes the film "Little Mary Sunshine". The print quality is not super great, the organ score by Bob Vaughn is pretty good (better than the music by Maria Newman that I have heard for this same movie). * 8/10 stars *
- Exit Smiling (1926) - About a theatrical troupe that travels from smal town to small town putting on a production of an apparently dreadful play called "Flaming Women", with a dastardly villian, vampire, and hero (played amusingly by Franklin Pangborn). Violet (Beatrice Lillie), the drudge of the troupe, cleans, irons, and also has a part in the play - as, of course, the maid. But she dreams of playing the lead part of the vampire. Meanwhile, a young man and real cutie-pie by the name of Jimmy Marsh (played by cutie-pie Jack Pickford) boards the train the troupe is traveling on, and soon meets Violet, who develops a quick crush on him. When she finds out the troupe needs a replacement for their "juvenile" - she helps Jimmy get the part (including squeezing an onion under his nose, so his tryout looks like he was able to cry on cue). Anyway, it seems Jimmy has run away from a little town where he has been accused of embezzling 5,000 dollars from the bank where he worked. He also left behind the girl he loves. But Violet is now totally in love herself - with Jimmy. When he can't appear on stage when the troupe hits the town he has run away from, Violet takes over his part disguising herself as a man (not hard to do apparently, in an earlier scene she almost gets to take the lead from the main actress who is late and I thought she looked like a man in drag when she put the girl's costume on!). Well, turns out she is a terrible actress after all as she proceeds, via mostly slapstick, to wreck the play. But she soon disguises herself for REAL using the vampire costume and lines from the play to save the day for our Jim. Hurrah! I thought this film started out just so-so, though it did get quite a bit better in the end. I didn't really care for Beatrice Lillie that much, but on the other hand, I pretty much love Jack Pickford - so his scenes really saved the day for this film, in my book. This was shown on TCM and the print looked just okay. I really did not care for the musical score for this - I thought it was somewhat annoying through a lot of the film as it just didn't seem to match what was going on most of the time. The music seemed too dark and dramatic (lots of bass drum and stuff) for what is really a comedy. * 7/10 stars *
- Brown at Harvard (1927) - Smart-alecky, charm boy, Tom Brown (played by the very likable William Haines) is a freshman at Harvard. To get the idea of the type of guy this is - he actually wears a belt he calls his "Sheik Belt" with a notch cut in it for every girl who falls for him. Brown's "half-pint" roommate Doo (played by cute Jack Pickford) is quite sickly but sticks by his pal no matter what. Well, Brown the lady's man, of course, soon falls for a professor's daughter, Mary (Mary Brian). But there is also some rather close "bonding" between the two fellows, specifically in the form of Brown rubbing Doo's bare chest (quite tenderly) with some sort of VapoRub. Hmmm. This is quite an enjoyable film. The video version I have has a reasonably good / neutral piano score on it. * 8/10 stars *
My Most Wanted: Great Expectations (1917) - Jack Pickford as Pip!
Trivia and Tidbits
- Jack Pickford was born August 18, 1896 in Toronto, Canada - he died January 3, 1933 in Paris, France of multiple neuritis.
- Jack was married three times - his first marriage was to Ziegfield Follies beauty Olive Thomas, who had started to have a successful film career of her own when she died tragically, while still only in her twenties, of mercurial poisoning.
- Listing in the 1920 Los Angeles City Directory - - Pickford Jack photoplayer h646 S Gramercy pl
- Jack Pickford has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - address: 1523 Vine Street.
Links / Resources
IMDb: Jack Pickford - Filmography and mini biography.