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HISTORY

My Best Girl marked Mary Pickford’s last silent film.
       The 6 May 1927 Motion Picture News announced an untitled Mary Pickford film as one of United Artists Corp. releases for the 1927—1928 season, to be directed by Sam Taylor. Principal photography was set to begin on 1 Jun 1927 at the United Artists Studios (a.k.a. the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios) in Hollywood, CA. The story was based on Kathleen Norris’s soon-to-be-published 1927 novel, My Best Girl, which first appeared as a serial that year in Collier’s.
       The casting of leading man, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, was reported in the 13 May 1927 Motion Picture News, along with the chosen title, My Best Girl. The 17 May 1927 FD stated that the picture was originally titled Paradise Alley.
       According to Kevin Brownlow’s Mary Pickford Rediscovered (1999), Pickford prepared for her role as a shop girl by posing in disguise at a department store, where she reportedly went unrecognized.
       Principal photography began earlier than expected, on 25 May 1927, according to the 10 Jun 1927 Motion Picture News. A large-scale department store was constructed on the UA lot, and 100 “shop girls” were cast. According to the 5 Aug 1927 Motion Picture News, art director Jack Schulze created elaborate sets for the feature, including two city blocks, complete with street-cars and traffic signals, where close to one thousand background actors and 200 vehicles convened. Additionally, a reproduction of the “famous” New York City Georgian-style home of Willard D. Straight, located at 1130 Fifth Avenue, was constructed in detail. The rare ... More Less

My Best Girl marked Mary Pickford’s last silent film.
       The 6 May 1927 Motion Picture News announced an untitled Mary Pickford film as one of United Artists Corp. releases for the 1927—1928 season, to be directed by Sam Taylor. Principal photography was set to begin on 1 Jun 1927 at the United Artists Studios (a.k.a. the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios) in Hollywood, CA. The story was based on Kathleen Norris’s soon-to-be-published 1927 novel, My Best Girl, which first appeared as a serial that year in Collier’s.
       The casting of leading man, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, was reported in the 13 May 1927 Motion Picture News, along with the chosen title, My Best Girl. The 17 May 1927 FD stated that the picture was originally titled Paradise Alley.
       According to Kevin Brownlow’s Mary Pickford Rediscovered (1999), Pickford prepared for her role as a shop girl by posing in disguise at a department store, where she reportedly went unrecognized.
       Principal photography began earlier than expected, on 25 May 1927, according to the 10 Jun 1927 Motion Picture News. A large-scale department store was constructed on the UA lot, and 100 “shop girls” were cast. According to the 5 Aug 1927 Motion Picture News, art director Jack Schulze created elaborate sets for the feature, including two city blocks, complete with street-cars and traffic signals, where close to one thousand background actors and 200 vehicles convened. Additionally, a reproduction of the “famous” New York City Georgian-style home of Willard D. Straight, located at 1130 Fifth Avenue, was constructed in detail. The rare antique Colonial furnishings were reportedly borrowed from Mary Pickford’s personal collection, including her “prized” dining room chairs.
       The 8 Jul 1927 Motion Picture News indicated that production was in its fourth week, and would be completed in Aug 1927. Isabelle Sheridan was named as a cast member, and an 8 Oct 1927 release date was anticipated.
       The 2 Sep 1927 Motion Picture News announced that the three-month shoot completed the week before, following the filming of steamship sequences in Los Angeles harbor. Editor Allen McNeil, who only received credit for adapting the screenplay, was reportedly “cutting the reels.”
       The world premiere of My Best Girl was held in Kansas City, MO, on 28 Oct 1928, with Charles “Buddy” Rogers in attendance, according to the 9 Nov 1927 Var, which deemed the “high class” production a “clean, wholesome, family type of fun,” and praised the naturalistic performances of Rogers and Pickford.
       The 19 Oct 1927 FD stated that the picture was scheduled to be the premiere attraction at the newly constructed United Artists Theater, a 1,600 seat movie-palace at 933 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. Various modern sources indicated that Pickford’s film was the first feature to screen at the theater’s opening on 26 Dec 1927.
       My Best Girl was fully restored by The Film Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 by director Martin Scorsese. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
19 Oct 1927
p. 4.
Film Daily
13 Nov 1927
p. 6.
Motion Picture News
6 May 1927
p. 1664.
Motion Picture News
13 May 1927
p. 1837.
Motion Picture News
27 May 1927
p. 2060.
Motion Picture News
10 Jun 1927
p. 2291.
Motion Picture News
8 Jul 1927
p. 46, 52.
Motion Picture News
5 Aug 1927
p. 378.
Motion Picture News
2 Sep 1927
p. 707.
Motion Picture News
7 Oct 1927
p. 1052.
Moving Picture World
9 Nov 1927
p. 20.
New York Times
7 Nov 1927
p. 26.
Variety
9 Nov 1927
p. 6, 20.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Paradise Alley
Release Date:
31 October 1927
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Kansas City, MO, at the Newman Theatre: 28 October 1927
Los Angeles opening: 26 December 1927
Production Date:
25 May--late August 1927
Copyright Claimant:
The Pickford Corp.
Copyright Date:
22 December 1927
Copyright Number:
LP24780
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,460
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Maggie, a shopgirl in a five-and-ten-cent store, falls in love with the owner's son, who gives up his society sweetheart for her. Learning of their affair, the boy's father unsuccessfully tries to buy Maggie off. When she later indicates her willingness to give up his son for his own good by posing as a golddigger, the father becomes convinced of Maggie's worth and agrees to the ... +


Maggie, a shopgirl in a five-and-ten-cent store, falls in love with the owner's son, who gives up his society sweetheart for her. Learning of their affair, the boy's father unsuccessfully tries to buy Maggie off. When she later indicates her willingness to give up his son for his own good by posing as a golddigger, the father becomes convinced of Maggie's worth and agrees to the marriage. +

GENRE


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.