Milestone Films

Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room

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Hollywood discovered Peggy-Jean Montgomery when she was 19 months old and made her a star by the age of two. By the time she was six, she had made more than 150 popular shorts and a star of feature films. In fact, she was one of the most popular stars in Hollywood with a line of Baby Peggy products sold in stores around the world.

By the age of 11, however, she was a has-been, forced to work eight shows a day in Vaudeville. And soon, like rival silent film star Jackie Coogan, she was broke, her money squandered by her family. Over the course of the next six decades she reinvented herself as Diana Serra Cary, a respected film historian and advocate for laws protecting child performers. With narration co-written by Cary, Vera Iwerebor's documentary combines rare clips from Baby Peggy's films — most of which were lost when her first studio, Century, burned in 1926 — with a personal glimpse of a woman who lost her childhood to the movies. Although Cary was once rejected by Hollywood, where she was blacklisted after her father feuded with producer Sol Lesser, her remaining films, including the first movie version of Captain January (1924), have been rediscovered, bringing her a new generation of fans. Documentarian Vera Iwerebor has created a film, that like Ms. Cary, is filled of warmth, humor and a love for cinema and life.

BONUS FEATURES

Captain January (1924) 64 minutes. Starring Hobart Bosworth, Baby Peggy and Irene Rich. Music composed and performed by Donald Sosin. With Joanna Seaton (vocals).

Three short films starring Baby Peggy: Carmen, Jr. (1923), Peg O’ the Mounted (1924) and Such is Life (1924).  Music composed and performed by Guenter Buchwald.

Song: “That’s My Baby” performed by Donald Sosin (piano) and Joanna Seaton (vocals).

Listen to Diane Serra Cary on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show, September 5, 2012
VIDEO LIBRARIAN
November-December 2013
Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room ***1/2
Filmmaker Vera Iwerebor's excellent documentary tells the strange and often tragic story of Diana Serra Cary, who is now in her 90s but became one of Hollywood's biggest stars -- known as Baby Peggy -- before the age of 10. Discovered as a mere toddler when her father, Jack, moved his family to Hollywood to work as a stuntman and horseman, Baby Peggy was on par with Jackie Coogan and Shirley Temple as a box-office draw, at one point making $1.5 million annually. During that time, she received no education or protection from existing child labor laws, and a jealous Jack publicly took credit for her success. And then, suddenly, as these stories often go, it was all over. Baby Peggy's studio contract was cancelled at the same time her management team -- family members -- stole all of her money, forcing her to go on the road as a breadwinner to perform multiple shows a day on the vaudeville circuit. The film delves into successive chapters in Baby Peggy's rollercoaster ride through success and failure, identifying the moment she finally began taking the reins of her life, rebooting her identity as "Diana" and finding happiness with her second husband and only child. Sharp, charming, and full of memories, Cary appears on camera throughout, speaking at film festivals where a few of her surviving movies screen before appreciative audiences. Viewers also learn about Cary's work as a Hollywood historian and author, as well as her advocacy of greater protection for child performers. Extras include three short films starring Baby Peggy, as well as the 1924 feature-length Captain January, and a music video. A wonderfully entertaining profile, this is highly recommended. Aud: C, P. (T. Keogh) 

 An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing at the DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray rate — or streaming at published rental and sales prices — are authorized to use the film only for private home screening and legitimate classroom showing (a regularly scheduled class with an instructor present), per the United States Copyright Law. You can learn more about the distinction between classroom and public performance screenings here.

 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied.These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. For more information on 

Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email amy@milestonefilms.com. 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email amy@milestonefilms.com. 

The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.

Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly with Milestone by emailing amy@milestonefilms.com

Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or amy@milestonefilms.com) to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a written confirmation.

DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.

DCPs should be returned to:

Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
United States 

35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.

Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:

Iron Mountain
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424
201.944.3700

For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting amy@milestonefilms.com

Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.

 

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