An Arcadian Maid (1910)

Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Mary Pickford is a young woman who convinces a farmer's wife to hire her as a maid. When a travelling salesman comes by the farm and sells the wife some cloth, he flirts with the maid and gives her an engagement ring. The salesman runs up some gambling debts, so he visits the maid again and tells her that they cannot marry unless he has money to pay off his debts, and she foolishly steals the farm couple's money while they sleep. The gambler takes the money and boards a train to get out of town. The maid is overcome with guilt and runs away from the farm. Meanwhile, the gambler gets into a fight and is thrown off the train, and the maid stumbles upon him by the railroad tracks. She retrieves the money and returns it to the farm couple before they even know it is gone. Director D.W. Griffith was fond of filming morality tales, with this film being representative of the kind of work that Pickford and Griffith were doing at the time. The acting style is not naturalistic, as Pickford "emotes" quite a bit, but within two years, her acting style would be much more conventional, and she would be a big "star."

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Keywords

abandonment, bad-guy, criminal, farming, flirtation, gambling, guilt, love, maid, robbery, wife, woman