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The Little American (1917)

A young American has her ship torpedoed by a German U-boat but makes it back to ancestral home in France, where she witnesses German brutality firsthand.

Directors:

Cecil B. DeMille (uncredited), Joseph Levering (uncredited)

Writer:

Jeanie Macpherson (by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mary Pickford ... Angela Moore
Jack Holt ... Karl von Austreim
Raymond Hatton ... Count Jules de Destin
Hobart Bosworth ... German Colonel
Walter Long ... German Captain
James Neill ... Senator John Moore
Ben Alexander ... Bobby Moore
Guy Oliver ... Frederick von Austreim
Edythe Chapman ... Mrs. von Austreim
Lillian Leighton ... Angela's Great Aunt
DeWitt Jennings ... English Barrister
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Storyline

German-American Karl and French-American Jules are in love with Angela when each returns to his country as war breaks out. She sails for France and while there is nearly raped by Karl as the Germans invade. She is later arrested for sending secret messages to Jules but Karl defends her. Both are saved from execution by the arrival of the French forces and Count Jules Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mary Pickford in a stirring photoplay of great patriotic appeal See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Pequena Americana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$166,949 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$446,237
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mary Pickford Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Ramon Novarro. See more »

Goofs

When Angela is returning to her bedroom after taking of the German commander's boots, the shot of her approaching the door is shown twice. See more »

Quotes

Count Jules De Destin: Since you are determined to stay, Mademoiselle, you may render France a great service.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The George Eastman House version in their Motion Picture Study Collection has an uncredited piano score and runs 76 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strategic château
12 June 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

According to his autobiography The Little American is the film that Cecil B. DeMille wanted to make with Mary Pickford. Both were strong supporters of the Allied cause in World War I. But Adolph Zukor wanted a box office draw with a western so A Romance Of The Redwoods was done first. DeMille envisioned The Little American as part of his contribution to the propaganda war effort. And Pickford was well known for her bond tours with her husband Douglas Fairbanks.

The Little American has Mary Pickford a daughter of the a US Senator and being courted by two men, German-American Jack Holt who receives orders to return to the Fatherland for an officer's commission in the newly declared war and French diplomat Raymond Hatton similarly ordered home. Pickford's family has a château in France and she travels there to be a nurse. But her ocean liner is torpedoed like the Lusitania and she eventually gets there.

But as it turns out the château is in German occupied territory and she's asked to do a little espionage. And who do you think is among the Germans occupying, none other than Holt.

As this was a film that DeMille himself labels a contribution to the war effort a lot of it can be dismissed. Pickford was her heroic best as The Little American. Some aspects of the real life Edith Cavell story are incorporated here with a lot more happy ending.

As for the German atrocities. They'd have to wait until the next war when Hollywood couldn't make up what they did in real life.


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