America’s Sweetheart, Canadian-born Mary Pickford, was a staunch supporter of the World War I Liberty Bond campaign. Aside from selling millions of dollars of bonds at various rallies across the country, she also encouraged bond sales by starring in a patriotic movie entitled Mary Pickford 100% American (1918). You can see the movie (HERE).
The movie first caught my eye because early scenes depict the Abbot Kinney amusement park pier in Venice, California. As shown in my books, the pier had appeared previously in Charlie
Chaplin’s The Adventurer (1917), and would later appear in Harold Lloyd’s Number Please? (1920) and in Buster Keaton’s The High Sign (filmed in 1920 – released in 1921). Although the pier burned down late in 1920, it was quickly re-built, and would appear again in such films as Laurel and Hardy’s Sugar Daddies (1927) and in Chaplin’s The Circus (1928).
Throughout the movie Mary forgoes simple expenditures in order to save enough to purchase a bond. While waiting in line at the bank to make her purchase, Mary momentarily loses her bankroll, and accuses another patron of stealing it from her. While a bank guard harasses the falsely accused man, Mary recovers the money, makes her purchase, and dashes from the bank, calling out to the guard that it was all a mistake before she embarrassingly flees the bank and runs down the street.
When I noticed the distinctive BARKER’S BAKERY sign on Cahuenga above Mary’s head, I realized that the bank where Mary purchases her bond once stood at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga – the intersection where so many other early movies were filmed. I report in prior posts (HERE) and (HERE) how Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd all filmed near this corner, but now we can add Mary Pickford to the mix.
As shown below, Douglas Fairbanks filmed a building-climbing stunt from Flirting With Fate (1916) just a bit down the street from Mary.
Putting the elements together below, this single site represents a spot where many of Hollywood’s biggest stars; namely Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Marie Dressler, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford, each filmed a scene.
My thanks to Jonathan Kaplan, at Vintage Venice Tours, for bringing this film to my attention. Below, Mary’s alley on the west side of Cahuenga. The bank building to the right was expanded two floors higher, with an Art Deco makeover, in the late 1920s.