The Hoodlum (The Ragamuffin) (1919)
Amy Burke (Mary Pickford) is as spoiled, temperamental and contrary a lass as her grandfather, Alexander Guthrie (Ralph Lewis), is ruthless and cutthroat a businessman. Amy is bored with the privileged life on Riverside Drive, so when her father, John Burke (Dwight Crittenden), returns to New York, she demands that she go with him instead of traveling through Europe with her grandfather. It comes as a shock to Amy that her father, a writer, is living in a tenement and that she has lost all the perks she had as a child of wealth. But soon she adjusts to life in the slums, wearing loud, mismatched outfits and shooting craps with the best of the kids. And through fraternizing with neighbors, such as the ever-battling Pat O'Shaughnessy (Andrew Arbuckle) and Abram Issacs (Max Davidson) and the nice, but mysterious John Graham (Kenneth Harlan), she learns to be a real person. Watching over the transformation is her grandfather, who has come in disguise to keep an eye on her. But his own transformation is not complete until one night, when Amy and John -- who is now her beau -- break into the Guthrie residence in search of papers which were falsely used to send him to prison. Although they are caught, Guthrie not only forgives them, he consents to their marriage. This was the second of three films Pickford made for First National. In spite of the stellar cast, and the help of director Sidney A. Franklin and screenwriter Frances Marion, this picture -- based on Burkses' Amy by Julie M. Lippman -- is not one of Pickford's very best. Amy is far too nasty at the beginning, and it takes the audience quite a few reels to forgive her ill-tempered antics. … More
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