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Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 29 August 2008 (USA)
A chronicle of the life and career of silent film star Mary Pickford.


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Credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Himself (archive footage)
Walt Disney ... Himself (archive footage)
Amelia Earhart ... Herself (archive footage)
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Himself (archive footage) (as Sir Douglas Fairbanks Jr.)
Douglas Fairbanks ... Himself (archive footage)
Lillian Gish ... Herself (archive footage)
D.W. Griffith ... Himself (archive footage) (as David Wark Griffith)
Roxanne Monroe Roxanne Monroe ... Herself - Mary Pickford's Daughter (archive footage)
Mary Pickford ... Herself (archive footage)
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ... Himself (archive footage) (as Buddy Rogers)
Mack Sennett ... Himself (archive footage)
Michael York ... Himself - Narrator
Adolph Zukor ... Himself (archive footage)


"Mary Pickford, The Muse of the Movies" traces the life and work of the legendary silent film star, movie pioneer, and keen business woman who co-created United Artists Studios. Pickford's life (1892-1979)also parallels an even larger story, the telling of the "birth of the cinema" itself. Written by Nicholas Eliopoulos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Illuminates the life of "America's Sweetheart", film pioneer, actress and keen business woman Mary Pickford


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Release Date:

29 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Stereo


Color (Black & White and Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Over twelve vintage audio interviews given by Pickford during her lifetime where restored and re-edited to allow Ms. Pickford (a silent star) to narrate over 50% of her story in her own voice, along with co-narrator actor Michael York. See more »


Lillian Gish: She deserved the title of 'America's Sweetheart.'
See more »


References Lena and the Geese (1912) See more »


My Buddy
Written by: Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson
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User Reviews

Great biography of an amazing woman
29 November 2018 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

An excellent overview of Mary Pickford's life and career. Aside from her endearing screen presence that made her so popular and 'America's Sweetheart', she was a shrewd businesswoman and real pioneer. This documentary does a great job of blending clips from her films and personal life with audio of Pickford reflecting back on her career. Just one example of brilliant footage shown is a bit that was actually cut from the 1926 film 'Sparrows', which had a large transparent angel hovering over Pickford and reaching out to her. There are countless others in what is a visual feast.

We get insights into her associations (D.W Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Amelia Earhart, Adolph Zukor, Lillian Gish, Walt Disney, etc), the brilliant way she navigated her career from appearing in films as a teenager to co-founding United Artists, and her personal spirit, which was pragmatic, intelligent, and philosophical. It also gives us a little history lesson of the film industry.

At one point Pickford opted to take a percentage of the profits of her films and was told she was going out on a limb, and she responded by saying "Good, because that's where I want to be." It's refreshing to see this success story of a woman who had such talent both on and off the screen, and someone who was tough as nails, but without being arrogant or abrasive.

Where the documentary fails us a bit is by being over-the-top in its adulation. Michael York practically gushes in his sugary narration, and we don't get some of the darker aspects of this amazing woman's life - her struggles with depression and alcohol after walking away from her acting career. Those things don't diminish her in any way, and would have made the account more honest. As it is though, it's well worth seeing, and it's a nice springboard into Pickford's body of work.

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