Coquette - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Coquette Reviews

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May 4, 2018
Coquette brought Mary Pickford her only Oscar and although she isn't great, she is pretty good for the material she got and quite stupendous having in mind that this is her first talkie. As for the movie itself, it is engaging and short with good dialogue, but so incredibly sappy, melodramatic and needlessly sadistic in the treatment of its protagonist. It truly did end on a very sour note.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2017
In watching 'Coquette', you have to cut it some slack for having been made in 1929, when acting was generally hammy and plots were a little thin. Mary Pickford does her share of over-emoting, but she also has a couple of brilliant scenes while grieving, really letting go, and showing she was ahead of her time as an actor. At 37, she also pulls off the look of a young flapper, and is so cute with her short hair and standing 5'1". John St. Polis plays the part of her father well, the Southern gentleman who must look out for the family's honor, and who detests her love interest, played by Johnny Mack Brown. The two of them also have some powerful scenes as emotions overheat. I also loved the snippets of dancing scenes we get to see, they are so energetic and really convey what we think of about the 1920's. At the beginning of the film, I was put off by its slow start and the spotty quality of the film after all these years, particularly when it was hard to understand the dialogue. If you feel the same, I would recommend sticking with it. It's flawed and not going to be your favorite film of all time or anything, but it's worth spending the 75 minutes to watch Pickford and the rest of this cast.
May 9, 2014
Just couldn't make it past the first fifteen minutes. Mary Pickford's acting is obviously suited much better for the silent screen as her voice adds nothing but annoyance. Her Oscar is obviously not deserved for this role - but it allowed for the rules to be changed so that no one could charm or buy the affections of judges again.

It is interesting how these early talkies make one yearn for the silent screen, when you didn't have to try to understand what people were saying to get the plot - and the acting relied on something more than recitation.
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2014
Terrible, overwrought early talkie with a head scratcher of an Oscar winning performance from Mary Pickford. She's at least a decade and a half too old for her part and tries to compensate with preciousness. It doesn't work.
May 22, 2013
Vet silent actress Mary Pickford won her first and Only Best Actress Oscar for this melodrama, done better on stage with Helen Hayes.
½ December 28, 2012
Mary Pickford (the Greatest Silent Star) first talking picture and not a bad film it was.

Mary was a little stagy (so was the film to be honest) but as the film moved forward so did Mary's acting due to her stage history she was very capable talkie actress & was able to hold her own.

She played the Southern Belle with Melodrama ensured it was a little over the top but this far more technically advanced talkie film considering it was made in 1929 the exact year of complete cross over from silent to sound.

If you a follower of Mary this is a must....
June 23, 2011
Silent screen actress Mary Pickford's first talkie. While I think Mary did a great job (she definately deserved the Oscar she won for this film), the movie itself was just awful.
April 15, 2011
Early talkie & first sound film for "Little" Mary Pickford, already established as the Queen of the silent film and Hollywood royalty with her husband Douglas Fairbanks (Senior). Pickford was best known for her little girl roles and her elaborate whorl hair-style. Transitioning to more adult roles had proved more difficult, but sound film, which was the ruin for many of the silent screen's great stars, actually helped her in this, basically starting afresh to the audience. Shearing off all her curls probably also helped.

The first of the movie stars to embrace the new medium, she had a sound stage build on in her own Pickfair, and she actually had the best equipment around. Many early sound films have barely any movement, since the slightest superfluous sound (the soft clinking of an actress' bracelet for instance) would be magnified on film and actually drown out the dialog. The camera was often placed behind clear glass plates to remedy this, but this still made it impossible to have scenes with a lot of motion. Because of Pickford's investments in technological advancements, "Coquette" has a lot of natural movement and different camera perspectives, a feat the major studios would not really accomplish until later in the Thirties.

While the story is old as dirt (even in 1929, when the dirt was still a lot younger), and the acting suffers a little from the too florid mannerisms of silent film melodrama - after all the area of Pickford's expertise - there are several surprisingly powerful scenes in which she gives a heart-wrenching performance (though admittedly, other than these scenes, she seems to do little more than pout and blink a lot) .

Pickford won the Oscar for her performance, only the second time it was given out. Of course, she was one (of only 3 women being the only actress, and of 36 total) of the founders of the Academy and the Oscar, leading to a lot of talk about using her influence to win, although there's no basis for this, as this film and her part in it were at the time highly esteemed by audience and critics alike. Pickford is also supposed to have defended herself once by saying that if she was going to cheat, she would have done it to win the very first Oscar ever, not the second.
April 8, 2011
This is pretty bad. Mary Pickford won Best Actress at the 2nd Academy Awards (honestly, that's the only reason why I watched it) and she's decent, I suppose, but the movie itself is not. Pickford plays Norma Besant, a Southern belle who flirts with literally every man in her life (including her father, her interaction with him is sort of creepy) but whose virtue is compromised when one of her beaus wants to marry her. A lot of the acting is unintentionally hilarious (her brother, in particular, is obnoxious as can be) and the writing and sound is generally bad. I can forgive Coquette for being an early talkie, but I can't forgive it for being a bad movie by any standards outside of Pickford's lead performance, which still isn't that great.
Super Reviewer
April 11, 2010
Interesting early talkie starring silent screen star "Little Mary" Pickford. She plays a Southern Belle type who loves a man her father hates and has forbidden her to associate with. When the father takes care of business his way, Mary is faced wth dilemma of lying about her beau to save her father or stick by her love and watch Dad go to prison. The acting was still very much in the silent style, with lots of extreme facial expressions and mannerisms. But the story was OK, and I had never seen Mary Pickford in a film before. She overacts somewhat, but if you squint your eyes just right, she was still pretty convincing. An interesting little piece of melodrama.
April 7, 2010
good 4 early talkie.
½ November 28, 2009
It's very dated, but it still entertains and has Mary Pickford in an Oscar winning role. She's good, but not sure if it's Oscar caliber. Fascinating for it's historical significance. Good production.
January 31, 2009
Man, this was pretty bad. This film starred Mary Pickford, in her first talkie, as an upperclass girl who falls in love with a poor working class guy, and her father disapproves. Mary Pickford won Best Actress for this (the only reason I watched the movie), and she's pretty horrible in it. Such overacting, you know how in the silent movies, all the actors exaggerate their emotions and body movements? Well add sound to that and you've got Coquette. Everyone uses booming voices, like they're vibrating when they talk, and they chew up the screen. And most of the dialogue is so horrendous. There's one scene where Pickford's dad chases after her boyfriend and she's alone with her maid. Suddenly she feels a pain in her side, and says "oh it's nothing, it's like a got a big shot in my stomach.... shot? Father! Oh Michael! Where's father's gun?!" And the ending is quite laughable. The funny thing is, this is the second Best Actress win ever, and the first couple years of the Academy Awards there were only a handful of people who actually voted for the awards. Douglas Fairbanks was president of the Academy at the time, and guess who his wife was at the time?
January 19, 2009
The film is dated and is like a bad soap opera. The acting is laughable and Mary Pickford looks lost in her own overacting. Probably in the top five of worst Best Actress Oscars of the history.
May 29, 2008
Suh, ah say suh, as a Southehn gentleman, ah object to this stereotypical pohtrayal of social mohes of the deep South, and Mary Pickfohd's pehfohmance as an unrepentant fliht. Besides, Pickfohd is a Yankee hussy (so Nohthehn she's Canadian) posing as a truly honorable Southehn belle!

Coquette, ah challenge you to a duel! Pistols at dawn!
Super Reviewer
November 25, 2007
I finally see the great Canadian Pickford on the big screen. Not bad but not particularly memorable either.
October 27, 2007
This movie is dumb. I get tired of movies about sluts, which is all this one is. The acting is good by Mary Pickford, but that is about it. Plus it's an early talkie and the actors didn't really know how to do that.
October 7, 2007
The very first Hollywood moviestar was Canadian, and in this film she won her Oscar. Of course I want to see it.
½ July 31, 2007
Pickford's first talkie, she plays the role of flirty teenager in love (though Pickford herself was 36 years old) with plenty of conviction. Everybody in this movie, including those behind the scenes, seem to be uncomfortably adjusting to the concept of talking pictures.
½ June 15, 2007
The film is held up by Pickford's fine performance.
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