One of my all time favorite movies is the 1926 silent film, Exit Smiling starring Jack Pickford and Beatrice Lillie.
Exit Smiling was the film debut of a woman once named the funniest woman in the world, Beatrice Lillie. Lillie plays Violet, a stage actress touring with the acclaimed Flaming Woman, Violet wishes to get a bigger role in the show, but she doesn't realize that shes one of the worst actresses that has ever lived. While touring Violet meet Jimmie Marsh, played by the one and only Jack Pickford, who is an escaped convict and joins the crew of Flaming Woman.
|Jack and Beatrice behind the scenes on Exit Smiling. I love the one hand holding the compact and the other hand holding a coke.|
One of my favorite scenes is when Violet tells Jimmie that she's a famous actress, when really shes only in Flaming Woman so that the crew has someone to cook and clean for them. You can tell right from the start that Violet falls head over heals over Jimmie, and who wouldn't? It's Jack playing Jimmie.
Jimmie later finds out that she plays a small part in the show, but he still makes her feel important and tells her that he's never met an actress before, he smiles at her and walks out of the room, leaving Violet there smiling at herself.
This film shows the depth of Jack Pickford's acting abilities and Beatrice Lillie's comedic talent. Exit Smiling is one of my all time favorite movies and will remain one of my favorite comedies. I would recommend this to any silent film fan and it's a must see for Jack Pickford fans. He would have gone far if he had not had personal drug and alcohol issues. This was his second to last film before dying in 1933.