The Impetuosity of Youth

They Would Elope
R: David W. Griffith. B: Stanner E.V. Taylor. K: G.W. Bitzer, Percy Higginson. D: Billy Quirk, Mary Pickford, James Kirkwood. Kate Bruce. P: Biograph. USA 1909
Print: Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education / film collection
(Score by Phillip Peterson)

“Love has ever laughed at locksmiths, but on this particular occasion the laugh is on Cupid, for that chubby archer certainly miscalculated in arranging the program of the romance of Harry and Bessie. Still the episode will be looked upon in after days as a decidedly strenuous page in their life’s history, and one need not be possessed of an excessively keen sense of humor to appreciate its comedy value. Harry and Bessie loved each other with all the impetuosity of youth, and during one of the many occasions when they pledge undying affection, are surprised by Papa, who, in spirit of jest, pretends to be highly enraged at their presumption, apparently treating them as mere kids. Papa out of the way, they resent being treated as children and plan to elope.”
Silent Era

“In her first year she (Mary Pickford) started getting notices. In the August 21, 1909, issue of the ‘New York Dramatic Mirror’, she is singled out in the review of the Biograph film They Would Elope: ‘This delicious little comedy introduces again an ingénue whose work in Biograph pictures is attracting attention.’ Her work attracted such attention that she supplanted Florence Lawrence as the public-invented Biograph girl. And in England, lacking an official name, she was given one by the British: Dorothy Nicholson. After Carl Laemmle temporarily lured her away from Biograph and gave pubilicity to the Pickford name, the secret was out (…).”
James Card: The films of Mary Pickford. In: Christel Schmidt: Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies. University Press of Kentucky 2012, p. 216

>>> Griffith 1909

>>> Mary Pickford