Sparrows

1926

Action / Drama

53
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 1023

Synopsis


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January 28, 2014 at 06:42 AM

Cast

Mary Pickford as Molly
720p.BLU
749.87 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gkeith_1 10 / 10

Cruelty to children.

Spoilers. Observations. Opinions.

In those days, children were dealt with way more cruelly than they are today (so we hope). Children were beaten, starved and treated like slaves, and this was from their own parents! Children had to work too hard, some dying early of illness and injuries. Youngsters in many cases were not valued or treated well, except in the films about spoiled rich kids with twelve gazillion servants attending to their every beck and call.

In the times after World War One, the 1920s, the world was supposed to be so prosperous and rolling in money. The Market Crash of 1929 was not upon us yet, much less the Great Depression. Have we heard of poor people in the cash-rich twenties?

Actually, postwar society is supposedly engulfed in a recession. The military jobs and paychecks have gone to oblivion, and the families who formerly thrived upon such income have gone straight to the proverbial poorhouse.

Enter this story. Poor parents (the Roaring Twenties, no less, with supposedly F. Scott Fitzgerald-type wealth soaked up by EVERYONE) cannot afford to feed and clothe their children, much less educate them. These parents have agreed to turn over their progeny to the turns-out-evil Mr. Grimes, who must have promised to lovingly care for the little darlings!

Mr. Grimes is a horrible monster. The children are meant to become chattel property for him, to use as he pleases as farmhands and general flunkies. An older child, portrayed by our Miss Mary Pickford, is caregiver for the children. She is plucky and resourceful, and tries to keep the youngsters from additional harm.

Question: Are all viewers Christian? No. Jesus doesn't appear to Muslims, Jews or Buddhists. This part is prejudiced toward other potential audience members. Are people forced to be Christian? There is a strong message here, that it is the only way to be -- the way, the truth and the life, as it were. Non-Christians may have stayed away as audience, preferring not to buy tickets to this religious-message-proselytizing effort. America, the Great Melting Pot, drew immigrants of many religions besides Christianity. I am still giving this film a 10, however.

The villains are ugly and evil; they are hissable, and I am hissing. They are sneering, violent and nasty. Evil has to be beaten by good, and eventually the mighty Jehovah beats the Devil at his own game. Do the alligators get some human treats for their lunch? Is there retribution for the ghastly and sinful errors of the antagonists?

I have a degree in American History. Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, children were forced to work many hours a day on farms, in coal mines or selling newspapers. Many were kept out of school. Cruelty to children goes way back. It still exists today. Today, however, a child can get on its cell phone and call Children's Services if the parent/caregiver so much as touches a hair on its little head. Fostering children still has some cruel monsters, with young ones going from cruel parents to even more idiotic foster "parents".

I have also studied different types of philosophy and ethics. Good is supposed to win over evil. Good times feel better after people have gone through unbelievably terrible predicaments. Children today may not have a Queen Mary Pickford to lead them through the swamp.

Why is there evil? That is a standard philosophical question. Evil exists to make people appreciate the good. Maybe this was Mary Pickford's entire message and goal: to show that the bad guys get what's coming to them, and the good guys live happily ever after ... :)

Reviewed by Johan Louwet 8 / 10

Incredible for its time!

I like silent movies when they have elements of drama and horror and this one was recommended to me. Sparrows might be more of a drama and even adventure in the later parts, the elements of horror are very much there we have it in the location (the swamp) and the cruel character of Mr. Grimes with his wife and ugly son no hair better. Even their dog is a character that you just want to strangle. Mary Pickford as Molly was in her thirties but still believable as being the oldest "kid" because of her young face and small figure. That she is considered as one of the greatest silent movie stars is no lie as she easily steals the show both in moments of drama and comedy. The other kids also do a good job in looking miserable but still trying to make the best out of their situation. It must really have been something to film the kids' trip through the swamp in 1926. The danger of the alligators looks very much real. Great film and makes me curious for more of Mary Pickford's work.

Reviewed by Dalbert Pringle 4 / 10

Sparrows Are Free To Fly Away - These Children Were Not

I'm sorry, but, I just don't see it.

This is now the 3rd "Mary Pickford" silent film that I've recently watched and I find that I'm not at all impressed with this woman as an actress.

Don't get me wrong, this woman did have a semblance of some genuine charm, but, now, 90 years later, whatever it was that made her so popular in those days of yesteryear has been significantly diminished over time.

In 1926's "Sparrows", Mary Pickford (now 34) played (for the last time) a young girl (a role that she had been constantly playing for close to 20 years). In this particular story Mary plays Molly, the heroine to 7 orphaned children.

The setting for Sparrows takes place in the thick of the Louisiana swamplands where the wicked (and physically bent) Mr. Grimes (along with his homely, do-nothing wife) run a "baby" farm of lost, displaced and abducted children who are treated very badly and worked like dogs in order to tend Grimes' crops and maintain his property.

More than anything else Sparrows was nothing but a deceitful, little "god-works-in-mysterious-ways" Bible story. Molly repeatedly made references to this religious book and reassured the little ones that "The Lord" would, indeed, see them all safely through these hard times (even though his tactics weren't always clear to even the most simple-minded fool imaginable).

Besides the irritating emphasis that was placed on Molly's religious beliefs, I also found that the basic essence of Sparrows' story to be very-very disturbing.

This was a cruel-minded, sinister, and depressing story. It hinted at the possibilities that these abducted children were very likely being sexually abused by not only Mr. Grimes, but, by the men whom Grimes (in order to make a quick buck) sold them over to.

Even though I'm trying very hard to view this picture strictly from a nostalgic point of view, I find that it just doesn't wash quite that easily and, with that, I can only give it a low, 4-star rating.

From my point of view, I think that it was a real shame that Mary Pickford was forever type-cast into these "Molly" roles. To me, she looked mighty foolish and unconvincing at 34 trying to pass herself off as a sweet and innocent 14-year-old - But, hey, back then, the audiences loved her to pieces that way.

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