ROSITA
1923, MoMA, 95 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

Mary Pickford was one of the biggest movie stars in the world when she brought Ernst Lubitsch to Hollywood to direct her in this impressive costume romance. Adapted from an 1872 opera, the film is set in Seville, Spain, where the title character (one of Pickford’s first adult roles) is a poor street singer who catches the eye of the king. Rosita has no interest in the lecherous monarch but is in love with Don Diego (George Walsh) - a soldier who has fallen out of favor with the king and been sentenced to death. For this restoration of ROSITA, composer and conductor Gillian B. Anderson worked from a 1923 cue sheet to track down the required pieces of music from collections all over the world and reassemble the film’s original score.


LITTLE ANNIE ROONEY
1925, 94 min, USA, Dir: William Beaudine

Mary Pickford plays a tomboy of the tenements who tends to her brother and widowed father in a multi-ethnic New York neighborhood, re-created entirely on the backlot of the Pickford Fairbanks studio. Her crush on a young man (William Haines) from a rival gang results in complications when he is charged with murder. Pickford produced, starred in and wrote this comedy with pathos (under the name of Catherine Hennessey) and it was restored from her own tinted nitrate print by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and then scanned in 4K high definition. An original soundtrack by composer Andy Gladbach recorded with a 16-piece orchestra is presented in Surround Sound.


SPARROWS
1926, 84 min, USA, Dir: William Beaudine

In her final juvenile role, Mary Pickford shines as Molly, the eldest of a group of orphans held as virtual slaves by the nefarious Mr. Grimes (Gustav von Seyffertitz) on a farm deep in the bayou. With its German expressionist look and a thrilling chase through a swamp filled with hungry alligators, this is one of “America’s Sweetheart’s” most memorable silents.


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