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Heart O' the Hills was one of four films Mary Pickford released in 1919 and the last she would make for a distributor other than her own. It was a tumultuous year for Mary, who was running her own studio, forming United Artists and conducting a clandestine affair with Douglas Fairbanks. A backwoods melodrama about land-grabbing in the mountains of Kentucky, the film gave Mary the chance to extend her range from her previous half-dozen parts. For almost two years, audiences had seen her in a series of urban settings or in familiar roles from popular projects. Heart o# the Hills, with its often brutal subject matter and frank treatment of poverty, could hardly have been a greater change of pace from the lighthearted Daddy-Long-Legs. Mary had played characters like this before; the dramatic result, culminating in a memorable court trial sequence, would prove to be a dramatic and critical success.

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ID1972MLS Heart o the Hills DVD (1919/Mary Pickford) $29.99