Monday, February 21, 2011

PICKFAIR: TROUBLED PARADISE




A while ago I read the book PICKFORD: THE WOMAN WHO MADE HOLLYWOOD, and I was really intrigued by the fairy-tale gone wrong romance of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. If Pickford was indeed the woman who made Hollywood  (and I certainly believe she was), then Mary and Doug together made Hollywood royalty.  Pickfair was their perfect 15-acre home, the most famous home in America at the time, excluding the White House.

Parties at Pickfair included all the most prestigious figures of 1920s society. Everyone wanted to be invited. Beverly Hills became THE place to be. The couple entertained constantly. They were really the first huge movie stars, and people at the time really relied on them to carry the banner of American youth and charm.

What I love about Pickfair is how hard Doug and Mary worked to make it their, and America's, utopia. They worked so hard that it tore their dreams apart. It was heartbreaking to read about the love they had in the beginning.  I felt like I was reading a Victorian novel, the way things just built up around them and tore them apart in spite of themselves...so tragic. From reading the book it seemed that they each regarded the other as their one true love, despite remarrying. And they both ended up so sadly..


3 comments:

  1. MARY PICKFORD REDISCOVERED---> one of the best coffeetable books....ever? I was so crazy about that book.

    Also, later years of MP in deep seclusion? Pia Zadora (of all PEOPLE)'s major demolition of/extensive renovation of Pickfair? Heartbreaking. This is one of the Hollywood landmarks I'm most sad I missed.

    Still, those early years of the two of them together are just like a fairytale...Have you caught any of their respective movies? They just GLOW. So glad you posted about them!

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  2. ooh maybe i will read that one; i didn't love pickford:the woman who made hollywood, maybe MP rediscovered is better.

    I KNOW - her later years were soooo sad.the book i read also described her often babbling on about fairbanks to buddy rogers OFTEN. sad. and how DF wanted to get back together with her for so long, trying to win her back after their divorce, and he begged and begged and begged and he was in such despair and , ugh SO heartbreaking because she loved him all along, and FINALLY she sent a telegram saying she forgave him everything and to come home...
    but it was just too late because he had JUST resigned himself to asking this other woman to marry him, thinking MP would never budge, and shed said yes.

    SO TRAGIC.

    i actually have never seen and DF movies but have seen a bunch of MP ones, my favorites are probably my best girl and stella maris. which do you like most?

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