15 November 2010 | bkoganbing
When I sat down to watch The Hoodlum quite frankly I was expecting a gangster film of sorts even though it starred Mary Pickford. It was not what I thought it would be given the title, but it was a chance for Mary to show off her considerable talent and appeal.
The Hoodlum finds Mary the granddaughter of Ralph Lewis a John D. Rockefeller like tycoon who gives her whatever she needs. The mansion she lives in looks very much modeled on the Rockefeller Estate in Pocantico Hills in Tarrytown, New York. She's spoiled and bored and after a tiff with granddad, goes to live with her father on Craigen Street in the middle of a slum in the inner city. But father who is writing a sociological urban treatise has precious little time for her also, so Mary learns the ways of Craigen Street very fast.
If Mary Pickford wasn't America's Sweetheart she might well have been called America's Imp from this film. In The Hoodlum she gets to show off her considerable comedic talents when fleeing from the law. The family chauffeur 'let' her drive the car and her speeding results in a hilarious car chase with the local law. And her second chase seen with a city cop after she cleans the clocks of the other kids in a crap game is worthy of anything Mack Sennett or Charlie Chaplin might have done in their films.
The Hoodlum is a different take on Mary Pickford and one her considerable legion of fans should not miss.