Mary Pickford and La Cinémathèque Française

In 1965, Mary Pickford granted La Cinémathèque française access to her film collection in order for the archive to duplicate many rare film elements from selected titles. She traveled to France to celebrate the partnership which was her final trip abroad.

When Mary Pickford died in 1979, she believed Fanchon the Cricket was among her “lost” films. Throughout her life, she had actively worked to preserve her movies, but Fanchon was particularly dear to her because it was the one time she had shared the screen with both her brother Jack and her sister Lottie. In 2012, the Mary Pickford Foundation learned that a nitrate dupe of Fanchon was preserved at La Cinémathèque française and conversations began that led to a unique partnership between the Foundation and the Cinémathèque to restore the film. The British Film Institute held an incomplete nitrate print and, with their cooperation secured, all the necessary components existed for a successful restoration.

L’ Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in Italy photochemically and digitally restored the film, using the highest quality available elements, and performed further digital restoration. They then scanned the film onto 4K high definition. The missing English intertitles were reconstructed by translating from the French on the dupe negative and English and French intertitles were created.

The Mary Pickford Foundation commissioned a new score by Julian Ducatenzeiler and Andy Gladbach. Digital mastering was completed at Roundabout Entertainment, Los Angeles. A new negative and 35MM prints were created from the restored digital version. The restored film elements are housed at the MPF collection at UCLA Film & Television Archive at the Packard Center in Santa Clarita. The French version is housed at La Cinémathèque française.