Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood

Pickford The Woman Who Made Hollywood One of the Best Books of Quill QuireOne of the Best Books of Los Angeles TimesCo winner of the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian BiographyShortlisted for the Viacom No

  • Title: Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood
  • Author: Eileen Whitfield
  • ISBN: 9781551990170
  • Page: 347
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One of the 10 Best Books of 1997 Quill QuireOne of the 100 Best Books of 1997 Los Angeles TimesCo winner of the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian BiographyShortlisted for the Viacom Nonfiction AwardA silent Film star A woman who played children, wide eyed and gamine Skipping around in frills and cute curls That s how most people remember Mary POne of the 10 Best Books of 1997 Quill QuireOne of the 100 Best Books of 1997 Los Angeles TimesCo winner of the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian BiographyShortlisted for the Viacom Nonfiction AwardA silent Film star A woman who played children, wide eyed and gamine Skipping around in frills and cute curls That s how most people remember Mary Pickford In reality, as Eileen Whitfield makes clear, Mary Pickford is a towering figure in movie history.Born in Toronto in 1892, Pickford began acting as a child, helping support her family after her father s accidental death She switched from stage to film at age 17, joining D.W Griffith s Biograph company, and became almost unimaginably popular This allowed her to develop her own production company at Adolph Zukor s Famous Players, and in 1919 she co founded along with D.W Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and her husband Douglas Fairbanks United Artists, seizing not only creative control but also the marketing and distribution of her films.Eileen Whitfield recreates Pickford s life in meticulously researched detail, from her trying days in turn of the century Toronto to her reign as mistress of Pickfair, the legendary Los Angeles estate at which she and Fairbanks entertained the world s elite, to her sadly moving demise Along the way, Whitfield explores the intricate psychology that tied Pickford to her mother throughout her life, and analyzes Pickford s brilliant innovations in the art of film acting her profound influence on the movie business paving the way for such powerful Hollywood women as Jodie Foster and Whoopi Goldberg and her role in the history of fame she was the object of a mass adoration that prefigured today s cult of celebrity.Eight years in the making, Pickford The Woman Who Made Hollywood is definitive biography It brings Pickford to life as a complex knot of contradictions and establishes her as a ground breaking genius, casting new light on one of the influential and least understood artists in the history of popular culture.Pickford was the subject of lengthy, appreciative features in The New Yorker and Film Comment, and was the basis of two television documentaries on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation s Life and Times and on the History Channel.

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      347 Eileen Whitfield
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    1 thought on “Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood”

    1. WHAT an incredible book! Mary Pickford is my favorite actress so I have seen many of her films, read several things about her, and I've watched the documentary PBS did about her life. I felt I knew a lot about her. But I couldn't have been more wrong. This book was so chock full of fascinating Mary information, I couldn't put it down and I loved every minute of it. What I knew about her before reading this book seems almost shameful now. The author is obviously a Mary fan and definitely has opin [...]

    2. Please see my review at :Grace's Pickford Review Eileen Whitfield has gotten to the essence of Mary Pickford, and writes an even-handed, yet kind, biography of this complex lady. I'm so glad I purchased this book so that I could go back to it for reference as the years go by, and I was further blessed to get to meet Eileen Whitfield later on.

    3. While this biography has a lot of information about America’s first silver-screen sweetheart, I found it lacking in many ways. For one thing, it seems to skip over a lot. At the beginning of the book, it goes on for about 50 pages saying how nobody in the family wanted to turn to acting, but they had to because they were so poor, and they made good money, which they needed because they were so poor, and it made them feel better about taking jobs as actors because they really needed the money. [...]

    4. This book was so well written and thorough. I inspired me with a wonder and deep appreciation for those early founders of Hollywood, the mountains they forged, and the vision and creativity with which they established the film industry as we know it. Mary was a great pioneer in her field, and in the foundation of American history. By the end of the book, as she became more detached from reality and sunk into a self-diminishing state of being, I found myself weeping for the loss. My heart ached t [...]

    5. Excellent biography of the most important figure in Hollywood history. Mary Pickford is often overlooked in favor of her enigmatic husband Douglas Fairbanks, but it was Mary's solid determination, fiery ambition and business acumen that created a Hollywood dynasty that is still going strong. More than just an early silent-film star (although her films are arguably as important as her work), Pickford forged a place for herself in an industry and a nation that was notoriously sexist.

    6. I read a lot about old Hollywood and over the years I read bits and pieces about Mary in other books. But I'd never known her whole story. I'm not a big fan of silent movies. Louise Brooks is the only silent film star I have ever enjoyed watching (because she acts so fresh and modern). Mary Pickford seemed to belong to that style of acting that drives me crazy. Over blown and histrionic. I was right, she does act that way. And Mary was aware of how dated her movies seemed, which is one of the re [...]

    7. I'm not exactly sure why I chose to read this book. I'm not very familiar with Mary Pickford's movies but I am interested in early Hollywood and her role in it. One amazing thing I learned is that early Hollywood was not that different from current Hollywood! The life of an actor is a hard-scrabble one but once you've "arrived," you have the ability to command anything you want--from the choicest table at a restaurant to the amount of money you earn. Yesterday and today. Not too long ago, there [...]

    8. Mary Pickford was an immensely popular and important star whose career began in the early days with D. W. Griffith and which blossomed on its own and peaked in the 1920s. Her sweet young girl characters were brought to life by a shrewd and stubborn woman with an excellent head for business. Whitfield is an excellent writer. She is both scholarly and readable, which makes this dense biography enjoyable as well as informative. I've read several books about Mary Pickford and this is certainly the m [...]

    9. Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood is an insightful and well crafted biography. Author Elieen Whitfield is an actress in her own right and she offers a keen understanding to Pickford's evolution as an actress and her immense contribution to the art of film. The book also navigates the numerous transitions in Pickford's life with a clear eyed honesty that is not always present in star biographies. One is left with a complex and fully fleshed out portrait of the artistry and inner life of a wo [...]

    10. Engrossing read. A biography of Mary Pickford with a detailed history of silent film woven through. Fascinating accounts of Pickford's business relationship (contentious!) with Charlie Chaplin one of her partners in United Artists, Pickford's 40 year marriage to Buddy Rogers, and her sad (tragic) decline. The Pickford/Fairbanks marriage is summarized but not delved into very deeply (there are entire books dedicated to this subject but it would've been nice to have it fleshed out more here). A bo [...]

    11. I thought this was a wonderful book. The tale of Mary Pickford is also the story of the birth of silent film and celebrity culture. It's sad that someone who was once the most famous woman and film star in the world is almost missing from our collective knowledge of the past.

    12. Mary Pickford had a long and abundant life. A fascinating story of success as well as what can happen when a child is forced to grow up too soon. Throughout her life she accomplished so much and is rapidly becoming forgotten in contrast to her friend Charlie Chaplin.

    13. Not only a fantastic and illuminating biography on Mary Pickford and her important role in shaping early Hollywood, but also a great work of film history and how Hollywood and the movies developed and took over the world in the first decades of the 20th century.

    14. Little Gladys Smith, sole breadwinner for her family from the age of 7, was one canny businesswoman. Her only experience as a carefree child was pretending to be one in the movies.

    15. Gave this up for lack of time, and it was difficult to trudge through. May return to it in the future.

    16. Straightforward biography -- I'm not sure I understand the raves for this book, but I did enjoy reading it.

    17. "Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood" was a fascinating, well researched, cohesive and easy to read book about the life of silent film legend, Mary Pickford.As a fan of the silent era, I have seen some of Pickford's work over the years and knew the minimum about her life; she was born in Toronto, married Douglas Fairbanks, started United Artists & helped sell war bonds (with incredible success).After reading Whitfield's "The Woman Who Made Hollywood" you get an incredible appreciation for [...]

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