Through the Back Door (1921)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |  
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For her fourth United Artists picture, Mary Pickford once again plays a poor little rich girl. This one, Jeanne, is so neglected that when her mother, Hortense (Gertrude Astor), remarries, she is pawned off on her Belgian nurse. Five years later, when Hortense returns to fetch Jeanne, the nurse has decided to keep her and claims she has died. But then World War I breaks out, and Jeanne is shipped to her mother in America. She is so overwhelmed by the wealth that surrounds her, however, that she can't tell her mother who she is. Instead, she goes to work as a maid. But when some guests at a weekend party plot to fleece Hortense's husband (Wilfred Lucas), Jeanne saves the day and finally reveals her true identity. There is a joyous reunion all around. Mary's brother, Jack Pickford, supposedly co-d irected this picture; more likely she hired him to keep him busy because he was still grieving over the September, 1920 death of his wife Olive Thomas. Through the Back Door and its immediate predecessor, The Love Light, were not notable Pickford films -- although they made money, neither were blockbusters. Her next project, Little Lord Fauntleroy, did markedly better.

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Keywords

blackmail, damsel-in-distress, kidnapping, love, orphan, peasant, rescue, reunion