Cinderella (December 28, 1914)
Released on December 28, 1914: While gathering wood a poor old woman in rags is abused by the sisters, but Cinderella is kind to her, and discovers that she is really a Fairy God-Mother in disguise.
Directed by James Kirkwood
Written by Charles Perrault
The Actors: Mary Pickford (Cinderella), Owen Moore (Prince Charming), Isabel Vernon (step-mother), Georgia Wilson (step-sister), Lucille Carney (step-sister), W.N. Cone (the King), Inez Marcel (Fairy Godmother), Hayward Mack.
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It is Christmas 1914 - not only has the Second World War not happened yet, but the First World War is still in the future, and the Great Depression isn't even thought of as a possibility. Walt Disney is 13 years old, and three days after Christmas, maybe his parents took him to the movies, and he saw Mary Pickford as Cinderella in this classic Fairy Tale. Mary was 22 years old, and already a seasoned actress. When movies were a very new invention, and every motion picture was an experiment in the art of telling a story, this classic tale is not only beautifully told, but in a historic pioneer motion picture that has survived.
Gladys Marie Smith was born in Toronto, Canada on April 8, 1892, and at age 7, in 1898 she got a part in a play at Toronto's Princess Theatre, and a couple of years later her mother and her younger brother and sister were travelling the States in search of acting jobs. Her mother had changed her middle name to 'Mary' when she was baptised, and she took the last name of Pickford for her acting career. In April of 1909 she tried out for a nickelodeon movie part for the Biograph Company, one of the pioneers of film. Her beauty and natural abilities soon had her earning twice what other actors were earning . . . a whopping $10 a day! She loved acting, and appeared in a total of 51 short motion pictures before 1909 had ended. She became the first real star of motion pictures, becoming known as 'The Girl with the Golden Curls.' But when sound was added to motion pictures, and her golden curls were abandoned in favor of an adult 'bob', her fans slowly abandoned her and her final films were not well received at the box office. By 1933 she stopped acting, and went on to become a founder of the United Artists group of motion picture producers.
But here, in 1914, you can enjoy Mary at the top of her film career, playing the part of Cinderella, the desire of Prince Charming. Pop some corn, grab a soda, and enjoy a motion picture from the historic early days of film.