Little Annie Rooney (1925)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Release Date - Oct 18, 1925 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

Mary Pickford once again made a very convincing 12-year-old in this sentimental melodrama, a huge success for the star after a couple of misfires. In the opening scenes, it is almost as if "America's Sweetheart" has joined the "Our Gang" kids. Playing Annie Rooney, the daughter of a Lower Eastside cop (Walter James), Pickford hurls bricks and bottles at her tenement enemies, crawls through a lead-pipe, punches poor Joe Butterworth in the nose and attacks the opposing kids (real kids, at that) in a chariot made from a run-down baby carriage. She is totally believable throughout, no mean feat for an actress already on the wrong side of 30. Little Annie Rooney, however, is no farce but a tried-and-true tearjerker, in which Annie's father, a goodhearted Irish cop (Walter James, is killed in a gangland dispute. Although credited to one Katherine Hennessy, who was in reality Mary's grandmother, the story was wholly conjured up by Pickford herself in response to a deluge of letters from moviegoers demanding the return of her now patented spirited tomboy. And, being her own producer, Pickford made sure that the trappings were first class, from cameraman Charles Rosher's magnificent compositions to recreating an entire Lower Eastside tenement block on the back lot of United Artists in West Hollywood. The results of her hard work proved one of Pickford's most successful pictures and one which can be enjoyed by young and old to this very day.