My Best Girl (1927)

Film Review

MY BEST GIRL

Release Date: 31 October, 1927

Studio: United Artists

Director: Sam Taylor

Starring: Mary Pickford, Buddy Rogers

Synopsis

Maggie Johnson, a stock girl at Merrill's 5 & 10, loves Joe Grant, a stock clerk. In reality, Grant, learning the business, is the son of Robert Merrill, the owner of the store. Maggie's family is dependent on her; she cooks, cares and provides for them. Maggie asks Joe to dinner, but her parents and sister are having a loud fight, and she has to ask Joe to come another night.

Unknown to Maggie, Joe has a fiancée of his own class. Joe misses the engagement party his mother has arranged when he asks Maggie out for dinner. He takes her to the Merrill house and pretends that the Merrills give meals to their employees. Maggie is reluctant to go inside, and when his parents come home, she hides under the table. Joe introduces them. After his fiancée comes in, Maggie, sorrowful and despairing, walks out into the rain. Joe runs after her. He finds her in night court. Her sister, Liz, who has a crooked boyfriend, has been arrested. Maggie's parents do not know what to do, but Maggie talks the judge into releasing Liz.

Joe tries to talk to Maggie. Liz's boyfriend, Nick, loudly asserts that young Merrill is not legitimately interested in Maggie; he's just playing with her. Joe slugs and fights with Nick. The next day Joe's picture is in the paper with a story about his interest in a stock girl at his father's store. Maggie, at home caring for her parents and sister, is visited by Joe's father who offers her $10,000. Joe arrives and asks her to sail to Hawaii and marry him. She tries (rather pathetically) to convince him that she is a gold digger and jazz baby. He does not believe her. Finally, he sheds a tear and she falls crying on his lap. However, she states that she cannot leave her family who need her more than he does. At this statement, her father jumps up and says that he can take care of his family. She should go with Joe. They rush to the ship. They will marry on board. As Maggie and Joe sail away, her family and Joe's father wave goodbye.

Discussion

Mary Pickford's last silent film demonstrates the reasons she was popular throughout the silent era. Her personality jumps off the screen. She was a terrific actress. Mary easily moves from comic to serious and is convincing at both. She is warm, funny, touching, sincere, determined, or forceful, sequentially or simultaneously as required by the plot. Buddy Rogers gives her a handsome and pleasant leading man who has a great smile.