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The New York Hat (1912)

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Uploaded on Jul 28, 2008

From 1912, here is a favorite film of mine starring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore - "The New York Hat". It was filmed in Ft. Lee, New Jersey! It is a short film produced by Biograph in 1912. Based on a scenario by Anita Loos, it was directed by D.W. Griffith and stars Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish. It is considered one of the most notable of the Biograph shorts and is perhaps the best known example of Pickford's early work.
The story is simple: Mollie (Mary Pickford) leads a cheerless, impoverished life, largely because of her stern, miserly father. Her mother is mortally ill, but before dying, she gives the minister(Lionel Barrymore) some money with which to buy her daughter the "finery" her father has always forbid her. Mollie is delighted when the minister presents her with a fashionable New York hat she has been longing for, but village gossips misinterpet the minister's intentions and spread malicious rumors. Mollie becomes a social pariah, and her father tears up the beloved hat in a rage. All ends well however, after the minister produces a letter from Mollie's mother about the money she left the minister to spend on Mollie.
I have always enjoyed this film because of the great cast. Mary Pickford is young & beautiful in it. A young dashing Lionel Barrymore is the minister. Its rare we've seen him at this age long before arthritis set in and was in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. Both of the Gish sisters are seen as well. Finally, even Mack Sennet makes a cameo appearance as well! Also, since American Biograph was afraid of piracy (even way back then!), they incorporated their "AB" logo into the film itself. (Look closely on the back wall at Mary's house and you'll see the Biograph logo pasted on the wall!)
I have had the 8mm film in my collection for decades. Its becoming the worse for wear with mold and difficult to project. I have edited it down a bit to fit into YouTube time. I mostly cut out people walking in and out of doors and down the street.
I hope you'll enjoy this great little film.
Released: December 5, 1912

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