Well, we have a winner! To the surprise of nobody who has read the comments on these posts, Mary Pickford in Stella Maris carried the day.
Directed by Marshall Neilan and adapted for the screen by Frances Marion, Stella Maris is a Dickensian tale of abuse and murder. It is also significant is that it fails the Reverse Bechdel Test. (That is, there’s more than one guy with a name but they only talk to one another about the women in the film.)
Here’s the complete voting roundup, if you want to see how everything played out.
So, as you can see, Mickey was the only real competition. This means that both audience choices starred women and both were smash hits at the box office too. I could make a snide comment about the modern Academy Awards but I feel like celebrating instead.
Obviously, we are working with what survived and what is on home video but Stella Maris was lavishly praised during its 1918 release, so I think we’ve hit the mark with some amount of precision.
Write-in titles for Best Picture included The Blue Bird, Shoulder Arms, Father Sergius, Hearts of the World and Thomas Graal’s Best Child.
One write-in answer was “I am ashamed! Haven’t seen any of these!” to which I can only respond that I am slightly envious because this person gets to see these films for the first time. Enjoy!
Thanks so much for voting!
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