Sunday, December 21, 2014

Silent Sundays: Pride of the Clan (1917)


“On the slender shoulders of the grief-stricken girl, fall the burdens of the sorrowing clan.”

            Mary Pickford plays a young Scottish girl named Margaret MacTavish in the film Pride of the Clan. Margaret is the only daughter of a Scottish Chieftain. Their clan lives in a small coastal village. Her father is set to return from a fishing trip during the latter part of the day. An alarm is sounded for a boat in distress. Rescuers are summoned to help. Not long after a hammer is struck against the bell signaling the Chieftain is in trouble on the seas. The boat is lost. Margaret is now Chieftain of the village since she is the last of the MacTavish line. Even though she is grieving she has to be there for her people.
            Margaret has a friend named Jamie Campbell. They have been sweet on each other for a long time. He asks her to marry him. She pictures her life with him sailing around the world on his boat.
            The rest of the story after this I lost track of. I know, I am terrible but blame the ADHD. My attention totally wandered until the last, like, twenty minutes. Here is the rest:
            Some time later in the story, Jamie is given the opportunity to go to London to attend school. Margaret is excited for Jamie and for the fact that she will be going with him. Jamie and his mother go for a walk while Margaret and the man giving Jamie the opportunity to go to school are alone. The man tells Margaret she needs to let Jamie go. She would never make it in the world of London. He tells her is she loves Jamie she has to let him go and makes her write a letter instead of saying anything in person. Jamie gets the letter but he runs to her to beg her to love him.
            Margaret is upset. She decides to leave her clan for a difference place. She launches her boat. Not too far out to sea, the boat begins to take on water. She tries yelling to shore but no one can hear her. She braces herself as water comes rushing in. A chest of Margaret’s washes ashore. A villager sleeping on the beach is woken up by a goat. He sees the chest and recognizes it. He gets and sounds the alarm.
            Jamie sees Margaret’s boat is in distress. He goes out to her and saves her.

            Pride of the Clan was alright. The story obviously did not hold my attention very well. I basically watched it because it was one of Mary Pickford’s films that had been made in Fort Lee, NJ. I completed my internship at the Fort Lee Museum over the summer. The museum has all kinds of artifacts and photographs of the early film industry in New Jersey (also visit the Fort Lee Film Commission’s website). Mary Pickford was adorable. Pride of the Clan, like most of Pickford’s film, are worth watching.