Just Around the Corner

Friday, 22 Mar 24 at 15:00 PM

As well as an illustrious career as a screenwriter, Frances Marion is credited as sole director on two feature films, including this rare example of a 1920s film with a woman officially occupying the director’s chair.

On New York’s ghettoised Lower East Side, impoverished widow Ma Birdsong, is decent, hardworking, and devoted to her two children – Jimmie and Essie (played by Sigrid Holmquist "the Swedish Mary Pickford”). Ma wishes nothing more than to see her daughter marry a “good man” who will look after her, and for Jimmie to get an honest job. But Essie’s naivety leaves her vulnerable to a caddish suitor who threatens to dash their mother’s hopes. This unabashedly sentimental drama about maternal love and the trials of navigating a man’s world is a tantalising glimpse of another dimension of Marion’s unparalleled gift for movie making.

Dir. Frances Marion | US | 1921 | N/C PG | 1h 20m

With: Margaret Seddon, Lewis Sargent, Sigrid Holmquist

Performing live: Maud Nelissen

Screening material courtesy of Library of Congress / Eye Filmmuseum

Online programme notes by Anke Brouwers

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