The New York Hat (1912)

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The last film Mary Pickford did for director D.W. Griffith was made from the first scenario Anita Loos ever submitted to a movie studio. The young writer's story showed her to be clever beyond her years and experience. In a small Vermont town, a dying mother hands over her small savings to a minister (Lionel Barrymore). She implores him to watch over her daughter (Mary Pickford) and to buy her something nice now and again -- the girl's miserly father does not believe in luxuries. The minister promises to do so. One item he buys the girl is a fancy New York hat. The village buzzes with gossip when they see Mary wearing the hat that the minister bought, and rumors of an affair between the minister and the young girl spread. Finally the minister reveals the letter in which Mary's mother made the agreement with him, and all is well. Even with her first script, it is typical of Loos to lampoon self-righteous small-town values. After shooting The New York Hat, Pickford went on to star in a Broadway play, A Good Little Devil, for David Belasco; after that she went to work for Adolph Zukor at Famous Players.

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daughter, death, gossip, minister, mother