Daddy-Long-Legs (May 11, 1919)

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Daddy Long Legs
 

Released on May 11, 1919: An older wealthy man falls madly in love with the young orphan girl that he financed a college education for.

Produced by Mary Pickford

Directed by Marshall Neilan

The Actors: Mary Pickford (Jerusha 'Judy' Abbott), Milla Davenport (Mrs. Lippett), Percy Haswell (Miss Pritchard), Fay Lemport (Angelina Gwendolin Roalind Wyckoff), Mahlon Hamilton (Jarvis Pendleton), Lillian Langdon (Mrs. Pendleton), Betty Bouton (Julia Pendleton), Audrey Chapman (Sallie McBride), Marshall A. Neilan (Jimmie McBride), Carrie Clark Ward (Mrs. Semple), Wesley Barry (orphan boy), True Boardman (orphan boy), Jeanne Carpenter (unknown), Estelle Evans (unknown), Fred Huntley (unknown), Frankie Lee (unknown), Joan Marsh (unknown)

 

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Love is a Bad Habit . . . Measles ain't near as Painful

When I was very young I can remember seeing my sister Carol curled up in a big chair, totally focused on the pages of a book, and I knew that she was not really sitting in that chair, but on an adventure in some far-away land that the author of the book had created for her. Sometimes when the world is fast and furiously whirling around me I can re-gain my stability and calm by curling up in a big soft chair and watching a silent movie on my laptop. It is like reading a good book . . . with plenty of help to imagine the characters because I can see them on the screen. There may be people around and plenty of noise, but I am silently transformed away from it all in the glory of a silent tale from long ago. If you have seen the 1955 dancing musical with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron about an older millionaire financing the college education of a young orphan and then falling in love with her . . . THIS is the movie that inspired that one, and I think after watching it you will agree with me that it is so much better written and acted that there is really no comparison except for the title. In this REAL Daddy-Long-Legs there is no singing and no dancing . . . and more belly-laugh comedy than I ever expected in a romantic story. The movie is really two movies in one, the first half concerns life in an orphanage, and in the second half the orphan is in college and a May-September love story develops. Mary Pickford is Jerusha 'Judy' Abbott, discovered as a baby in an ash can and delivered to the local orphanage. Life at the orphanage is as tough as you might imagine, but little Judy manages to make it the funniest times of her life as her mischievous antics turn the orphanage and the sour gal in charge upside down. Then one day a mysterious benefactor agrees to finance Judy's college, but he hates women and wants to remain totally anonymous, and she only sees the elongated shadow of his very long legs, and nick-names him 'Daddy-Long-Legs.' Of course, we guess correctly that one day they will meet and the man who is old enough to be her grandfather will fall madly in love with the young college girl, but she turns him away, not knowing that he is her 'Daddy-Long-Legs' . . . and it doesn't look like they will ever meet or be in love with each other . . . . My favorite title card during the drama of love lost is 'Even the weather weeps in sympathy' . . . but of course the beautiful orphan girl and the older benefactor must get together somehow . . . or else what's the story about, anyway? Somehow the poor orphan girl, grown up into a college graduate and then successful author, must somehow find her Daddy-Long-Legs, and somehow love must bloom . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and find a big soft chair to curl up in and enjoy the show.

Mary Pickford sees who Daddy-Long-Legs really is
Mary Pickford sees who Daddy-Long-Legs really is
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Carrie Clark Ward
Carrie Clark Ward
Fay Lemport
Fay Lemport
Fay Lemport and Milla Davenport
Fay Lemport and Milla Davenport
Mahlon Hamilton
Mahlon Hamilton
Mahlon Hamilton and Mary Pickford
Mahlon Hamilton and Mary Pickford
Mahlon Hamilton meets Mary Pickford
Mahlon Hamilton meets Mary Pickford
Mahlon Hamilton proposes to Mary Pickford
Mahlon Hamilton proposes to Mary Pickford
Marshall A. Neilan
Marshall A. Neilan
Marshall Neilan and Mary Pickford
Marshall Neilan and Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford and Fay Lemport
Mary Pickford and Fay Lemport
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford makes a funny face
Mary Pickford makes a funny face
Mary Pickford writes a note to Daddy-Long-Legs
Mary Pickford writes a note to Daddy-Long-Legs
Milla Davenport
Milla Davenport
Percy Haswell
Percy Haswell