24 February 2015 | hotangen
Geese in the pond and pigs out back
This is an excellent film and if a "clear and bright" copy exists, it deserves to be reissued. Even though some scenes of the Televista release are marred by "snow" and the entirety is less than sharp, the picture quality is tolerable. The musical score is a mixture of appropriate and inappropriate accompaniment and should be redone.
I especially liked the scene where Dresser, now coiffed and dressed as a Grand Dame, ventures forth into a room of reporters and becomes the star she used to be. Clothes do make the woman. The makeover also has the magical effect of restoring her humanity and mother love. As for the ending, if you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
Jack Pickford, oftentimes today slighted as an actor, is excellent, his performance subtle and moving. Jack looks great - no sign of dissipation from the alcohol he abused or drugs that he is supposed to have abused. In fact, with his Valentino face, it's easy to see why he was catnip to the ladies in real life. As for the other actors, they all give natural performances. It's a mistaken idea that silent film actors expressed themselves using exaggerated cartoon gestures. That type of acting ended when Jack's sister, Mary, rose to stardom in 1914.
A favorite though uncredited actor is the pet goose. There's a charming scene of a determined Dresser marching down the road with the goose, equally determined to go along, waddling and running behind her. A welcome bit of gentle comedy relief.