Feature Films

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Fanchon the Cricket

Released May 10, 1915

Role: Fanchon, the cricket
Co-stars: Jack Standing, Lottie Pickford, Gertrude Norman
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: James Kirkwood
Screenwriter: James Kirkwood, Frances Marion (uncredited), based on the 1849 novel  La Petite Fadette  by George Sand

Note:  Mary’s brother Jack and sister Lottie also appear in  Fanchon, the Cricket. According to Fred Astaire, scenes were shot on location in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, where the young Astaire met all three Pickfords.

Original review from  The Moving Picture World  (May 22, 1915):

The charm of the cricket has made its appeal to the poets from the days of Anacreon, but there was never a sweeter cricket than Fanchon and let me hasten to add there never was a Fanchon like Mary Pickford. Yes, I know that the greatest of the French and the English and the American stars have attempted and have successfully rendered Fanchon, but I stick to my belief that none ever surpassed and few approached the work of Mary Pickford.

The Dawn of a Tomorrow

Released June 07, 1915

Role: Glad
Co-stars: David Powell, Forrest Robinson, Robert Cain
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: James Kirkwood
Screenwriter: Eve Unsell, based on the 1906 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Note:  Another popular Pickford vehicle,  The Dawn of a Tomorrow  was re-released by Paramount in 1919. Later in 1997, biographer Eileen Whitfield referred to the role of Glad as Mary’s “quintessential guttersnipe.”

Original review from  Variety  (June 18, 1915):

The Famous Players in this latest Mary Pickford feature has turned out a subject that carries plenty of interest in theme with a brand of first grade photography supporting it to land it among the top-notch list of current releases. Pickford is given full reign in her tattered garments and Pickford in rags can do considerable before a camera.

Little Pal

Released July 01, 1915

Role: ‘Little Pal’
Co-stars: Russell Bassett, George Anderson, William Lloyd
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: James Kirkwood
Screenwriter: Marshall Neilan

Note:  Little Pal  would prove to be one of Mary’s least popular roles; she played an Inuit girl at the insistence of Adolph Zukor, who sought to increase her worldwide popularity by casting her as women of different nationalities.

Original review from  Variety  (July 2, 1915):

“Little Pal” will be welcome to those who claim there is such thing as a “platonic friendship,” outside the stage or between book covers. Now the pictures have it, in the Famous Players’ latest Mary Pickford production. … The F.P. has its customary faultless production. Several exquisite snow scenes are pictured at intervals. … the picture is an interesting one.


Released August 02, 1915

Role: Rags/Alice McCloud
Co-stars: Marshall Neilan, Joseph Manning, J. Farrell MacDonald
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: James Kirkwood
Screenwriter: Frances Marion, Mary Pickford, based on the 1915 novel by Edith Barnard Delano

Note:  Some sources claim that Pickford was the inspiration for Delano’s novel; whether or not this is true, the role of a fiery mining-town girl suited the actress perfectly and was a box-office smash. According to Mary, it was seeing the large crowds lined up to see  Rags  that led her to renegotiate her contract with Famous Players.

Original review from  The Moving Picture World  (Aug. 14, 1915):

In writing the scenario for “Rags” it is evident that Edith Barnard Delano had the most likable traits of Mary Pickford’s personality in mind and aimed to produce a story in which they might be revealed in all their variety. … From beginning to end it is a picture of the winsome little star in a career humorous and pathetic by turns and occasionally dramatic.


Released September 06, 1915

Role: Esmeralda Rogers
Co-stars: Ida Waterman, Fuller Mellish, Arthur Hoops
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: James Kirkwood
Screenwriter: Frances Marion, based on the 1881 play by Frances Hodgson Burnett and William Gillette, adapted from the 1887 short story by Burnett

Note:  Though reviews of the film were not overwhelmingly positive,  Esmeralda  was another smash hit for Mary; the Strand in New York reported “packed houses” and “standing-room only” shows. Sadly, the only remaining copy of the film decomposed due to improper storage in the 1950s and is now lost.

Original review from  Photoplay  (Nov. 1915):

Miss Pickford is enshrined in the hearts of all the people, not because she is the sweetest of the limpid non-entities, but because she is a young woman of powerful personality and extraordinary dramatic talent. Hers is the art which conceals itself. Such hen-yarn drama as  Esmeralda  is as unworthy of criticism as it is unworthy of Mary Pickford.

A Girl of Yesterday*

Released October 07, 1915

Role: Jane Stuart
Co-stars: Jack Pickford, Gertrude Norman, Marshall Neilan
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: Allan Dwan
Screenwriter: Mary Pickford, story by Wesley C. MacDermott

Note:  A Girl of Yesterday  is notable for being the only feature in which Mary and Jack Pickford play brother and sister. Frances Marion also joined the cast as Mary’s rival.

Original review from  Variety  (Oct. 15, 1915):

“A Girl of Yesterday” with Mary Pickford as the star … is so arranged to give Mary Pickford an opportunity to display a lot of gowns and the fact that she can play a little golf, is a good little sailor, is not afraid to go up in an airship and, last, but not least, it gives the public another opportunity of looking at this little queen of the screen.

Madame Butterfly

Released November 07, 1915

Role: Cho-Cho-San
Co-stars: Marshall Neilan, Olive West, Jane Hall
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: Sidney Olcott
Screenwriter: Based on the 1898 novella by John Luther Long

Note: Mary’s former associate David Belasco was the first to dramatize Long’s story for his 1900 stage production.

Original review from  Variety  (Nov. 12, 1915):

For many moons it has been stated, and repeated, in the motion picture fraternity that Mary Pickford was a wonderful artist along certain lines, but that said lines were limited and quite circumscribed. This statement had become so familiar that it was generally accepted as a fact. Well, you “Doubting Thomases” and “Unbelievers,” go to the Strand this week to see her in the Famous Players’ (Paramount) production of “Mme. Butterfly” and disabuse your minds of any such idea once and for all. … Words are useless to describe the beauty and artistry of it all – the production, the photography … and above all else, Mary Pickford. The Famous Players has never turned out a finer feature – nor indeed has anybody else.

The Foundling

Released January 03, 1916

Role: Molly O
Co-stars: Edward Martindel, Maggie Weston, Mildred Morris
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players-Mary Pickford Co./Paramount Pictures
Director: John B. O’Brien
Screenwriter: Frances Marion
Produced by Mary Pickford

Note:  The Foundling  was the first of her films to be produced by Mary.

Original review from  The Moving Picture World  (Jan. 8, 1916):

It is a typical Mary Pickford story in which we see Miss Pickford in “The Foundling,” the Famous Players five-part release of January 3. There are present those elements which in greater or less degree have been factors in her most successful pictures. … Miss Pickford is at her best. “The Foundling” should be one of the more popular Pickford releases.

Poor Little Peppina

Released February 20, 1916

Role: Peppina
Co-stars: Eugene O’Brien, Antonio Maiori, Ernest Torti
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players-Mary Pickford Co./Paramount Pictures
Director: Sidney Olcott
Screenwriter: Story by Kate Jordan
Produced by Mary Pickford

Original review from  The New York Times  (Feb. 21, 1916):

There is nothing mysterious about the hold this little actress has on her public. In all her moods there is a fascination that does not elude the camera. She is always dainty, spontaneously playful … becomingly demure, and prettily sentimental. So when Mary smiles her audience smiles with her; when she makes love, hand clasps out front are tightened; and when she hangs her pretty head with its curls handkerchiefs absorb briny moisture from the sea of upturned faces.

The Eternal Grind

Released April 17, 1916

Role: Mary
Co-stars: Loretta Blake, Dorothy West, John Bowers
Prod/Dist Co: Famous Players Film Company/Paramount Pictures
Director: John B. O’Brien
Screenwriter: William H. Clifford

Original review from  Everybody’s Magazine  (May 1916):

Mary Pickford’s recent film, “The Eternal Grind,” is typical. She works in a sweat-shop. How poor she is! And how sweaty is that shop! But how bravely she bears it! … Then comes villainy. She looks into his eyes. And, really, she is a magnificent actress, and that is the sort of moment when she is at her best. Her face can change from happy innocence to suspicion, to dread, to flaming hate, while still retaining all its innocence…

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* Indicates that the film is lost
** Indicates that Mary wrote the screenplay