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Pollyanna (1920) HD online

Pollyanna (1920) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Family / Comedy / Drama
Original Title: Pollyanna
Director: Paul Powell
Writers: Eleanor H. Porter,Catherine Chisholm Cushing
Released: 1920
Budget: $300,000
Duration: 58min
Video type: Movie
When Pollyanna is orphaned, she is sent to live with her crotchety Aunt Polly. Pollyanna discovers that many of the people in her aunt's New England home town are as ill-tempered as her aunt. But Pollyanna's incurable optimism - exemplified by her "glad game," in which she looks for the bright side of every situation - bring a change to the staid old community.
Complete credited cast:
Mary Pickford Mary Pickford - Pollyanna Whittier
Wharton James Wharton James - Rev. John Whittier (as J. Wharton James)
Katherine Griffith Katherine Griffith - Aunt Polly
Helen Jerome Eddy Helen Jerome Eddy - Nancy Thing
George Berrell George Berrell - Old Tom
Howard Ralston Howard Ralston - Jimmy Bean
William Courtleigh William Courtleigh - John Pendleton
Herbert Prior Herbert Prior - Dr. Chilton

Of this film, screenwriter Frances Marion said, "We proceeded with the dull routine of making a picture we both thought nauseating . . . I hated writing it, Mary [Mary Pickford] hated playing it."

Catherine Chisholm Cushing's play opened in New York on 18 September 1916.



Reviews: [15]

  • avatar

    Longitude Temporary

    Short and Sweet. Way shorter and sweeter than any of the remakes - UK ITV did it again a couple of years ago at nearly 2 hours long with only 1 saccharine tab. It's far too short in fact, as Aunt Polly doesn't really get enough time for her character to develop properly in reaction to events caused by Pollyanna. Otoh I think Disney's was a bit too long and flat, but hey I'm hardly ever satisfied!

    Pollyanna always tries to find ways of being Glad, no matter what happens. And why not, imho it's far better to be happy in this short life - if it isn't keep it to yourself! By now Mary Pickford was 27 playing 12 and was still getting away with it on screen. I know she was later properly praised for saving a lot of her classic pictures from being lost, but she really can't be thanked enough for it not only from the entertainment point of view but the historical one as well. This version of Pollyanna reflects back to us a world long dead, where you can watch and wonder what the actors and actresses would have thought of the cynical deadbeat filth that Hollywood churns out today, and whether or not they in their turn yearned too for the even simpler world of Pollyanna.

    Maybe, and perhaps, this film simple and uncluttered as it is will still be available in the distant future and watched by people when every film made now is long forgotten, unknown and unwatched.
  • avatar

    Ballagar

    POLLYANNA, the young orphan of an Ozark missionary, arrives in New England to live with her spinster Aunt Polly, a withdrawn & bitter woman. Through her `Glad Game' - finding joy in every situation - irrepressible Pollyanna slowly begins to change the lives of the entire community, eventually finding the love she so desperately craves.

    This splendid family film, based on the Eleanor H. Porter classic, is as spunky & cheerful as its innocent heroine. 28-year old Mary Pickford is wonderfully believable as a little girl. She exhibits the sweet charm which made her the world's most famous celebrity. She dominates her every scene with star quality few others ever possessed.

    The rest of the cast is also very good, especially Katherine Griffith as sullen Aunt Polly & Howard Ralston as young orphan Jimmy Bean. The sets & location filming are also worthy of mention.

    The pipe organ score for this silent film is performed by virtuoso Gaylord Carter, The Wizard of the Keyboard.
  • avatar

    kolos

    Pollyanna is the young girl who can find something happy in any situation. She faces numerous unfortunate events, starting with the death of her father, leaving her an orphan in the Ozarks. She travels to her surly aunt in far-off New England, cheerfully greeting the pouring rain and mud at the train station, and a sparse room in her aunt's attic. Her cheerfulness makes everyone else happy. But then finally a disaster strikes that's too awful for even her optimism. What happens? Are things made right in the end? Sorry, no spoilers from me!

    Pollyanna's cheerfulness in the face of misfortune makes the story too cheerful to believe. But somehow Mary Pickford managed to make the character and the story work. Although she was in her late 20s, she made a convincing young girl, thanks to her shortness, good costuming and hairdressing, but mostly her acting talent. This movie shows how she got the nickname "America's sweetheart" and became the movie industry's first great star.
  • avatar

    Gavinrage

    I enjoyed Mary Pickford in this film version of Pollyanna. The other actors were very believable as well. This would make a nice double bill with Mary's Little Lord Fauntleroy on a future DVD release. I get tired of the boring organ scores on the old vhs tapes; way past time to update these films with new musical scores, and to get Mary the recognition she deserves for bringing to life some of these classics.
  • avatar

    Blacknight

    It would be hard to find a role more suitable for a particular actress than the role of "Pollyanna" is for Mary Pickford, and in this adaptation she adds her own charm to the old-fashioned story about the 'glad girl'. This version moves quickly, and has a good balance between humor and drama, with Pickford making the most of what the unashamedly upbeat story offers.

    The story is the familiar one of young Pollyanna moving in with her austere Aunt Polly (Katherine Griffith, who is pretty good in the role), making a habit of finding ways to brighten the lives of those who need it, but then finding herself faced with a crisis in her own life. The characters are fairly simple, but the cast portrays them believably. The script does a good job of telling the story efficiently and enjoyably, and everything fits together pretty well.
  • avatar

    Super P

    "Pollyanna" (United Artists, 1920), directed by Paul Powell, stars Mary Pickford, then age 27, playing a 12-year-old orphaned daughter of a missionary whose inextinguishable optimism brings joy and hope into the life of her new guardian, Aunt Polly (Katherine Griffith). Also featured in the cast are Wharton James and Helen Jerome-Eddy.

    Enjoyable silent comedy-drama, compliments of Blackhawk Video, with organ score by Gaylord Carter, which for me is a BIG plus. This version runs 60 minutes, only 70 minutes shorter than the latter 1960 Walt Disney remake that starred Hayley Mills. I've seen both versions and enjoy them equally. As written in the opening titles, "Pollyanna" became Mary Pickford's first feature for United Artists. (For the record, American Movie Classics premiered this rarely seen gem on May 30, 2000, at 1 a.m.).
  • avatar

    Usanner

    I own every version of "Pollyanna", and I have to say that I will possibly watch this one the most. I am not saying anything is wrong with the 1960 Disney version (it is a great film), but this version is half the length of the others (it is hardly an hour long) and much more sentimental. If you are a "Pollyanna" fan (the book or movies) or love sentimental movies, this is a must-see. Mary Pickford stands out in this well-acted film as Pollyanna, and is very convincing despite being an adult. Howard Ralston is also great as the orphan Jimmy Bean. The film is only about 60 minutes long while the others are over 2 hours, and it may be hard to believe, but this version is cut down as much as possible while still being logical, and that is a major feat. I highly recommend it.
  • avatar

    Vareyma

    At this point in her career, Mary Pickford hadn't played a little girl throughout a picture since "The Little Princess" made three years earlier. Her fans had been clamouring for years for Mary to do Pollyanna. Mary's mother Charlotte, had bought the rights to the novels Pollyanna and Daddy-Long-Legs, and Pickford was determined that her films would match the wondrous fame of these beloved books. Pickford plays the glad girl very well through this fast paced film, but admitted growing tired of the saintly Pollyanna and decided to inject a moment of deviltry to the character. She writes in her autobiography, While the cameras were grinding away one day, I caught a fly on the table, scooped it up and said, " Little fly, do you want to go to heaven?" With that I smacked my two hands together and said, "You have!" That fly in the ointment of Pollyanna's purity was definitely not in the script, but it remained in the picture. Mary also talks about the difficulty, to keeping up the facade of looking like a little girl. It was while they were shooting a scene of Pollyanna at the railroad station in Pasadena, that she overheard a child make a remark she never forgot. The little girl of about seven, was one of the many spectators who had gathered to watch. Mary distinctly heard her say, "Mama, she's not a real little girl, she's got long fingernails." Mary promptly lopped off the incriminating nails. Even though Mary Pickford grew tired of playing the glad girl, her fans certainly weren't disappointed by her outstanding and sensitive portrayal of the ten-year old orphan. It should also be noted this was Pickford's first film released through United Artists, and grossed more than a million dollars in 1920. For fans of Pollyanna and Mary Pickford, this is a very delightful movie to watch.
  • avatar

    Drelalak

    POLLYANNA is a charming piece of nostalgia, an era of innocence and gentleness in America that was already fading away when this film was made in 1920. The movie was one of the blockbuster hits of Mary Pickford's career but it's reputation in later decades was slammed even by Mary and screenwriter Frances Marion, I presume because they didn't want the public to think all Pickford films were sticky sentimental, affected and coy as this one was presumed to be as "Pollyanna" became something of a buzz word for those emotions in a more jaded era. That's a shame because the movie holds up very nicely and still has loads of charm and quite a bit of good humor.

    Pollyanna's widowed father is dying and after his death she is sent off to live with her stern old maid of aunt, Aunt Polly (Katherine Griffith). Pollyanna's sweet nature gets on Auntie's nerves (inspired by her father, Pollyanna always looks on the bright side of things and finds a reason to be "glad" about every situation) and her rambunctiousness only makes it worse. Pollyanna charms everyone else in town however particularly orphan boy Jimmy (Howard Ralston) who becomes something of a boyfriend.

    This movie runs under an hour and frankly could stand for at least another fifteen minutes. There are a number of supporting characters in this film that come in that aren't fully developed (ie: John Pendleton, the rich man who was once in love with Pollyanna's mother or Dr. Chelton, who was Aunt Polly's beau in her youth) but the movie is so expertly done one can hardly complain. Mary Pickford is absolutely sensational in this movie, always appealing, often funny and moving. She was 27 at the time this was made but utterly believable as a twelve-year-old. Matching her performance is splendid work done by young Howard Ralston (then 15 but looking a few years younger) as Jimmy and the excellent character actress Katherine Griffith as cross Aunt Polly (who, having to have something good to say about her, Pollyanna comes up with "I'm glad she's not twins!"). Miss Griffith passed away just one year after the movie was made and Howard Ralston made only a handful of films after this, all apparently in minor roles and most of them lost now. This movie is a testament to their talent as much as it is Mary's. If you are open to spending a hour in old-fashioned sentiment, you could hardly find a better vehicle than POLLYANNA.
  • avatar

    Hulbine

    "Pollyanna" was a film hated by both the star, Mary Pickford, and the writer Frances Marion (according to Marion) and I think it showed in the movie. To me it seemed a bit rushed and patched together, there is even a title out of place - when Pollyanna scares her aunt during her first night, there is a title saying Pollyanna hopes her aunt forgets (about her punishment)! Lo and behold toward the end of the movie a title appears "Her Aunt didn't forget but now months have passed"!!! The movie was also not a patch on the later Disney remake with Hayley Mills - and I don't really care for remakes!! I also wasn't keen on the organ music which seemed to have no relation to the actual movie. It seemed to be a series of circus songs and the movie was what I would call dramatically sentimental. I agree with other reviews, a new score would have enhanced this movie no end. Paul Powell was probably not one of Mary's more inspired directors and also by the end of 1920 she was hoping to break away from the child photoplays that the public loved. She wanted to explore more dramatic, adult roles and although her public refused to let her grow up, during the twenties she was able to play more diverse characters ie "Suds" (1920) and when she had to play a child ie "Little Lord Fauntelroy" she made sure she also played his mother "Dearest" as well.

    Pollyanna Whittier (Mary) a little orphan girl from the Ozarks goes to stay with her cranky Aunt Polly in New England. Pollyanna gets on her bad side immediately, tramping mud into the house, unravelling her knitting and using her knitting patterns as galoshes!! The next day she meets Jimmy Bean, a runaway orphan who is looking for a real home. Pollyanna takes him to the Ladies Aid Society, hoping that Aunt Polly will adopt him as well - she doesn't but she is fast coming under the young girl's spell. Even though the movie is episodic, it has little linking stories ie Mr. Pendergast is the richest and loneliest man in town, he shut himself away from the world when the girl he loved married a preacher and went to live in the Ozarks. He is just one of the many people she helps by playing the "Glad Game", a game taught to her by her father. Aunt Polly is eventually helped as well, she had been engaged to the town doctor, Dr. Chiltern but due to a falling out they had not spoken for many years. When Pollyanna faces her greatest challenge, she pleads with Aunt Polly that Dr. Chiltern is the only one that can make her well.

    Some of the fantasy sequences were cute. Jimmy being chased by giant turnips and when Pollyanna and Jimmy dream about when they are married with about a dozen children all piling on to Jimmy's street car. I have an early edition of "Pollyanna" (Pages of Boston) from 1915. Even though it was first published in 1912, by 1915 it had gone through a phenomenal 26 editions - really a staggering amount. Apart from that, at the back of my book there is a page of "Glad" calenders, diaries etc, so the success of Pollyanna and the Glad Game cannot be under estimated.
  • avatar

    Malodor

    It seems that Mary Pickford and writer Frances Marion both disliked this film and found it cloying, so my feelings about the film are not coming from out in left field! However, I STILL liked the film despite poor writing.

    Mary plays the title character--an unrealistically chipper and nice young lady who always seems to find the good in everything. The problem was not the ridiculousness of the character (though she was), but that how the intertitle cards were written and how everything was 100% telegraphed. In other words, instead of just SHOWING Pollyanna being optimistic and sweet, the film literally kept telling us this again and again--not just in the intertitle cards but in how everyone talked about her. So, when Pollyanna would talk down the street, people would make comments like "Wow...that Pollyanna...she's ALWAYS so sweet and optimistic"!! It all came off a bit like drivel...BUT Mary Pickford's characters still were so endearing that even though this comes off a bit heavy-handed, it still was a sweet film despite its shortcomings.

    While this film is very much like most of Pickford's full-length films, it is perhaps among the most schmaltzy. But, the acting is still generally good and the film is technically well made, so I say watch it anyway! By the way, if you do, get a load of the turnip sequence--you'll know what I mean when you see it!
  • avatar

    Rko

    After her father dies, little Mary Pickford (as Pollyanna Whittier) goes to live with dutiful spinster aunt Katherine Griffith (as Polly Harrington). Ms. Pickford arrives during a drenching rainstorm; soon, she discovers her accommodations, and the New England town, are utterly miserable. Pickford faces all unhappiness with gladness, however. She maintains a "positive attitude" through crisis after crisis…

    The story's events, and Pickford's reactions to them, reach admittedly absurd levels. Yet, "Pollyanna" has the whimsical, surreal quality that makes the best of the juvenile Pickford vehicles work. Examples include the magical introduction of the "Aunt Polly" character, and the turnip dream of "Jimmy Bean". Also, note that the film is appropriately introduced: "This is really not a story; it's a rainbow, born of the sunshine of a little girl's smile glistening through her tears; it's a fantasy of children's laughter, of hope, of gladness; for Pollyanna's 'Glad Game' holds forth this message: 'Be Thou the rainbow to the storms of life, the joyous beam that smiles the clouds away.'" A heavy-handed, but faithful, reflection of the Eleanor H. Porter book.

    Teenage "leading man" Howard Ralston (as Jimmy Bean) deserves special mention, with a performance that upstages his infinitely more well-known co-star; his smile fills the screen as well as Pickford's. Many of Pickford's films depended on effective young actors; and, Mr. Ralston was one of the most memorable. Ms. Griffith's "Aunt Polly" also helps "Pollyanna" to succeed.

    ******** Pollyanna (1/18/20) Paul Powell ~ Mary Pickford, Howard Ralston, Katherine Griffith
  • avatar

    Nidor

    If your skin will break out from too much sweetness, light and Hollywood "reality", you should skip this picture.

    Mary Pickford is mostly believable as a preteen girl since the adult cast towers over her. Nice sets and costumes (though no Hollywood glamour) and a pleasant look at small town life.

    This is Mary Pickford's first film for United Artists (of which she was a part owner), so it was supposed to be a safe moneymaker and Mary is cast to and plays to what sold in the past.
  • avatar

    Enalonasa

    "Pollyanna" was a film directed by Herr Paul Powell which starred Dame Mary Pickford. This was a faithful first adaptation for the screen of the famous and best-seller novel written by Eleanor H. Porter. It was very difficult to understand for this German Count due to the strange concepts and feelings with which this silent film deals. They include such strange subjects for the aristocracy like kindness, merriment and solidarity (thanks Gott there is also in the film evil aunties, bad weather and illness, German earthly matters that this aristocrat knows well).

    Obviously such film story with human sentiments (another orphan in trouble) was perfect for Dame Pickford. This film was her first work for United Artists, that Amerikan company founded by Herr Chaplin, Herr Griffith and Herr Fairbanks together with America's sweetheart. She's a glad girl who displays her charm and good intentions to anyone at hand. The film, as the book of which was based on, was a big success in those early silent times and many film critics considered this film as one of the best in Dame Pickford's film career, a statement with which this German Count doesn't agree.

    Keeping in mind those kind-hearted and innocent characters ( Dame Pickford speciality ) and the context or even the taste of the popular audience in those early times, the film it is many ways, simplistic and predictable. That's not to the mention Herr Powell's direction which is monotonous and without risks. He seems to think that with Dame Pickford's talent on the screen, that is enough for succeed. Although Dame Pickford gives her best effort, the Amerika's sweethart has better performances, more elaborated, and the most incredible thing … credible.

    And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count is glad to be again in Teutonic humour.

    Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
  • avatar

    Micelhorav

    I like silent films, but this was a little too moronic. As much as I wish I could say that it was worth the hour I stood up I can't. I don't think any version of the movie even comes close to the book. And don't try it out on kids, they might freak. And the lady who played Pollyanna, how old was she? 38? I know the labor laws were different back then... BUT COME ON PEOPLE.