Once considered a lost classic of the silent film era, viewers can again “witness Mary Pickford, the curly-haired star of the silent screen, at her most enchanting. Highly Recommended” – Irv Slifkin, Movie Critic.
Based on the “adult fairy tale” by George Sand, Fanchon the Cricket stars Mary Pickford as the title character, a strong-willed waif ostracized by “acceptable society” until she shows them the power of love and understanding.
Directed by James Kirkwood (In Wrong) and boasting exquisite cinematography by Edward Wynard, Fanchon the Cricket was filmed on location in Delaware Gap, Pennsylvania. A natural, sensual and uninhibited Pickford breaks through today’s stereotype of her as “the girl with the curls.” It is also the only surviving film in which both Jack and Lottie Pickford appear with their sister. Once believed to be a lost film, Fanchon the Cricket’s restoration is the result of a unique international collaboration between the Mary Pickford Foundation, the Cinematheque Francaise and the British Film Institute.
In it, a young wild girl Fanchon (Mary Pickford) lives in a forest with her eccentric grandmother who is suspected by the villagers of being a witch. The unkempt Fanchon suffers from her grandmother’s sorceress reputation. One day the girl rescues a boy from drowning, and they fall in love, but Fanchon won’t agree to marry him unless his father asks her.
“There was never a Fanchon like Mary Pickford. Yes, I know that the greatest of the French and the English and the American stars have attempted and have successfully rendered Fanchon, but I stick to my belief that none ever surpassed and few ever approached the work of Mary Pickford.” – Moving Picture World, May 22, 1915
“Pickford plays the role not so much as a woodland nymph, but more as a rural hooligan… She is extraordinarily beautiful; the first close-up of her face among the glistening leaves comes as an almost physical shock.” – Kevin Brownlow, Mary Pickford Rediscovered, May 1, 1999
Some background worth noting:
Mary Pickford was one of the 36 founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her career spanned five decades, and she was not only a major actress, but also a successful film producer and businesswoman. During the formative days of the film industry, Pickford was a true pioneer, co-founding Pickford-Fairbanks Studios and along with D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, she launched then the independent film production company United Artists.
The new 2018, original score was created by Julian Ducatenzeiler and Andy Gladbach. Many film historians refer to Fanchon as being comparable to ‘Birth of a Nation’ (1915) and ‘The Poor Little Rich Girl’ (1917).
The physical media edition includes both a DVD and Bluray as well as a special souvenir booklet featuring rare photographs and essays by American author, historian, and journalist Cari Beauchamp.
1915 / 115 minutes / Silent Drama / English / A film by James Kirkwood
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Two trailers to choose from…