Sparrows Critical Analysis

1819 Words8 Pages
Sparrows (1926), directed by William Beaudine and starring Mary Pickford, has reviews that focus on its non-story elements as well, praising the spectacle of the film over its narrative. Like the aforementioned Keaton films, this film has a relatively simple plot. A group of kidnapped orphans tries to escape their evil captor, led by the oldest of the orphans, who Mary Pickford portrays. The climax of the film is the extended escape scene, which features the children crawling along a broken tree branch above a swamp full of hungry alligators. Again, like the reviews of the Keaton films, critics considered the story of this film lackluster, as the New York Times paper released on September 20th, 1926,4 states: “Miss Pickford’s excellent portrayal of the little mother leaves only the desire for a more plausible story.” This same reviewer states: “As this film was produced before the plot, it is presumed that the exciting experience had nothing to do with the film’s story,” as well as criticisms such as “the continuity is vague in spots.” Here again we see the story being criticized, while the excitement of a chase scene over alligators is the main attraction the film offers. One reviewer for Variety even went so far to say: “The truth is the production is one of the few duds put out for Mary Pickford. Of course, the star’s name is more or less failure-proof.”5 Despite these reviews, which emphasize the film’s lack of story, Sparrows still did well in the US box office,
Open Document