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Daddy-Long-Legs (1919 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daddy Long Legs Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarshall Neilan
Written byAgnes Christine Johnston
Story byJean Webster
Based onDaddy-Long-Legs
by Jean Webster
Produced byMary Pickford
StarringMary Pickford
Milla Davenport
Mahlon Hamilton
CinematographyCharles Rosher
Henry Cronjager (uncredited)
Distributed byFirst National Pictures
Release date
  • May 11, 1919 (1919-05-11)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Box office$1.25 million[1]
PLAY full digital copy of film; runtime 01:24:09.

Daddy-Long-Legs is a 1919 American silent comedy-drama film directed by Marshall Neilan, and based on Jean Webster's 1912 novel Daddy-Long-Legs. The film stars Mary Pickford.[2][3]


A police officer finds a baby in a trash can, and Mrs. Lippett, the cruel matron at an orphanage where children are made to work, names her "Jerusha Abbott" (she picks "Abbott" out of a phone book and gets "Jerusha" from a tombstone). The orphan, who comes to be called Judy, does what she can to stand up for the younger children, frequently clashing with both Mrs. Lippett and the cold hearted trustees. At one point she leads a rebellion against being served prunes with every meal and at another, steals a doll from a selfish rich girl to lend to a dying orphan.

Years later, wealthy Jervis Pendleton, a mysterious benefactor, pays to send Judy, now the oldest and most talented child in the orphanage, to college. He insists, however, that Judy must never try to contact him in person. Judy calls him "Daddy-Long-Legs," and writes to him, however. Judy proves popular with her wealthier and more "aristocratic" classmates, and writes a successful book to repay "Daddy-Long-Legs" the money he spent on her. She is generally happy but misses not having any real family members to take pride in her accomplishments. Judy also finds herself caught up in a romantic triangle with the older brother of a classmate and an older man (who is, unknown to her, her mysterious benefactor). She eventually chooses the older suitor and is delighted to learn that he is her "Daddy-Long-Legs."



The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Critical review

The plot uses a series of episodes, some separated by time gaps, many humorous, that often pose opposites, like rich and poor or male and female, to advance the story.[5] The treatment of the orphanage is modern and not sentimental, the hard life there is not funny. However, Judy is not an active agent in the story in that, while trying to make the best of her situation, things happen to her beyond her control.[5]


  1. ^ Quigley Publishing Company "The All Time Best Sellers", International Motion Picture Almanac 1937-38 (1938) p 942 accessed 19 April 2014
  2. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: Daddy-Long-Legs
  3. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Daddy-Long-Legs
  4. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  5. ^ a b Tieber, Claus (2010), "Not Quite Classical Hollywood Cinema: the Narrative Structure of Frances Marion's Screenplays", in Bull, Sofia; Widding, Astrid Söderbergh (eds.), Not so Silent: Women in Cinema before Sound, Stockholm Studies in Film History, Stockholm, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, pp. 96–98, 101–102, ISBN 978-91-86071-40-0

External links

This page was last edited on 13 September 2022, at 05:38
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