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Little Princess, The (1917)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Little Princess (1917)

Director: Marshall Neilan, Howard Hawks

Cast: Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry, Katherine Griffith, Anne Schaefer, Zasu Pitts, WE Lawrence, Theodore Roberts, Gertrude Short, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Loretta Blake, George A McDaniel, Edythe Chapman, Josephine Hutchinson, Joan Marsh, Joe Murphy

62 min

A Little Princess is a 1917 American silent film directed by Marshall Neilan based upon the novel A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This version is notable for having been adapted by famed female screenwriter Frances Marion.[1]

Marshall Neilan 1

Marshall Neilan

Howard Hawks 1 Howard Hawks

Contents

Plot 

As described in a film magazine,[2] Sara Crewe (Pickford) is treated as a little princess at the Minchin boarding school for children until it is learned that her father has lost his entire fortune, and she is made a slavey (a household servant). She and Becky (Pitts), another slavey, become close friends who share their joys and sorrows.

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Christmastime draws near and the girls watch the preparations wistfully. Their loneliness arouses the sympathy of a servant of the rich Mr. Carrisford. On the night before Christmas he prepares a spread for the slaveys in their attic. He calls his master Mr. Carrisford (von Seyffertitz) to watch their joy, but both are witness to the slaveys being abused and whipped by Miss Minchin (Griffith). Carrisford interferes and learns that Sara is the daughter of his best friend. He adopts Sara and Becky and in their new home they have a real Christmas.

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The film opens with Sarah’s father moving back to London after serving in the British Army in India. She is opposed to leaving the luxurious life of an officer’s child with a large house and many servants, and is initially shy when enrolled in Miss Minchin’s School. Her reputation as “the little princess” precedes her and the other girls are fascinated with her tales of life in India. The girls sneak into Sarah’s room at night to listen to her stories. One night, she tells “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” which becomes a story within a story with elaborate exotic sets and costumes.

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Cast

References

  1. Jump up^ Progressive Silent Film List: A Little Princess at silentera.com
  2. Jump up^ “Reviews: A Little Princess. Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (22): 29. November 24, 1917.

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Johanna Enlists (1918)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Johanna Enlists (1918)

Director: William Desmond Taylor

Cast: Mary Pickford, Anne Schaefer, Fred Huntley, Monte Blue, Douglas MacLean, Emory Johnson, John Steppling, Wallace Beery, Wesley Barry, June Prentis, Jean Prentis, Joan Marsh (uncredited), Bull Montana (uncredited)

72 min

Johanna Enlists 1

Johanna Enlists 2

Johanna Enlists 3

Mary Pickford with Frances Marion – Female Hollywood Pioneers

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Mary Pickford with Frances Marion – Female Hollywood Pioneers

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Mary Pickford in Johanna Enlists 

Johanna Enlists 6 Mary Pickford behind the camera

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Mary Pickford taking a picture of Douglas Fairbanks 

Johanna Enlists is a 1918 silent film comedy-drama produced by and starring Mary Pickford with distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was directed by William Desmond Taylor from a short story by Rupert Hughes, The Mobilization of Johanna. Frances Marion, a frequent Pickford collaborator, wrote the scenario. The film was made at a time during World War I when sentimental or patriotic films were immensely popular. It was an early starring vehicle for Monte Blue, the male lead opposite Pickford. The film survives in several prints, including one at the Library of Congress.[1][2][3]

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Plot

As described in a film magazine,[4] Johanna Renssaller (Pickford), an uncouth, freckled country lass, works from dawn until late at night. Her only love affairs were with the hired man and a “beautiful brakeman” on the railroad. The hired man proved to be married and the brakeman proved impossible. She prayed for a beau, and then a whole regiment of soldiers came along and camped on the farm. Everyone from Captain Archie van Renssaller (MacLean) down to Prvate Vibbard (Blue) fell in love with her, ate her pies, and sat in her hammock. She took milk baths and tried Isadora Duncan style calisthenics and finally fell in love with Captain van Renssaller. When the troops moved on, she rode at the head of the officer staff.

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Cast

Reception

Like many American films of the time, Johanna Enlists was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors required a cut, in Reel 4, of views of a nude figure in a book.[5]

References

  1. Jump up^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature films: 1911–20 published by The American Film Institute, c. 1988
  2. Jump up^ Progressive Silent Film List: Johanna Enlists at silentera.com
  3. Jump up^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, p. 93 by The American Film Institute, c. 1978
  4. Jump up^ “Reviews: Johanna Enlists. Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (14): 28. September 28, 1918.
  5. Jump up^ “Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors”. Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (17): 43. October 19, 1918.

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