Little Annie Rooney (1925)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Little Annie Rooney Photos
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as Annabelle 'Little Annie'
as Tim Rooney
as Joe Kelly
as Officer Timothy Rooney
Critic Reviews for Little Annie Rooney
One of Pickford's best silents still entertains
Audience Reviews for Little Annie Rooney
Even at 5'1" and 33 years old, Mary Pickford pulls off the part of the 12 year old daughter of a policeman pretty well, and this is a silent film worth seeing. She looks a little out of place in the madcap early scenes where rival gangs are brawling and hurling a flurry of bricks at one another (think a slightly harder edged version of Little Rascals), but she's also pretty cute all wound up and throwing haymakers. The film includes Asian, Jewish, African-American, Greek, and Irish characters, and while there is a cringe-inducing scene where the black boy dances "the shimmy" in a grass skirt, stereotypes are reasonably contained. Nevertheless, these scenes with the gang were my least favorite, and they are a bit on the long side. Where the film picks up is with little Annie Rooney's home life. Walter James is great as her even-keeled father, and the scenes of sibling rivalry with her older brother (Gordon Griffith) are cute. The other actors seem to tower over the petite Pickford, and I have to believe they made some of the furniture larger than normal to help her pull of the role. Director William Beaudine also takes advantage of the beautiful sets that were built, and captures some nice city shots. I don't want to spoil the plot, accept to say it takes an unexpected dramatic turn, and that made it interesting for me. Pickford was a powerful force in Hollywood in 1925, and it's fascinating to me that she produced, wrote, and then took the part at her public's request. Four years later she was still pulling off a role of much younger woman in Coquette, a film I liked a little more, and so it's surprising that just four years after that, in 1933, she would play her final part as an actress. She had a rough time of it in life thereafter, battling alcoholism and depression. It seems this film captures her at the height of her powers, when she was on top of the world, and that adds to its charm for me.
Did they really think we could take Pickford for a twelve or thirteen year old girl? They could have had her character be slightly older, maybe twenty? The rest of the story is alright, not great, but alright. Overall Pickford is an interesting actress, at least.
Little Annie Rooney Quotes
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