A successful stage actress with a hidden past as a criminal is kept on the path of righteousness by a benefactor.


(novel), (as Ben Schulberg)


Cast overview:
David Wall ...
Tom Dorgan
House Peters ...
Grace Henderson ...
Mrs. Ramsey
George Moss ...
The Bishop
Howard Missimer ...
The Actress
Mr. Ramsey


A young girl, Nance Olden ( Mary Pickford ) on the run from a charity home, hooks up with a thief . After one of their criminal heists, while fleeing the police Nance jumps into a bishop's carriage. This chance encounter rehabilitates the girl from a life of crime into a successful career in theater as a stage actress. Written by Pamela Short

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

10 September 1913 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film is lost as no copy of it is known to exist. See more »


Version of She Couldn't Help It (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

" Grandmother Is Horrified By Scantily Clad Granddaughter Mary "
9 September 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Sadly, this amusing early Mary Pickford film no longer survives. It was based on the novel of the same name by Miriam Michelson. Mary plays Nance Olden, a thief in this story. She is a girl on the run from a charity home, who forms a team with a crook. Their heists are successful until they stage a jewel robbery, and in fleeing the police Nance jumps into a bishop's carriage. This changes her life, as she goes straight and embarks on an amazing stage career. Both the public and critics of the time were not disappointed and reviews for this movie glowed with comments on Mary's " beautifully varied performance," and concluded, " An actress who can suggest feeling with so little apparent effort is indeed a rarity ". Another reviewer declared 'Little Mary' at her best, which in itself would be reason enough to see this picture. Reviews such as these show the adoration and state of excitement many felt for the most popular silent screen actress. Mary Pickford shares a story in her autobiography of her austere grandmother Smith's horrified reaction upon seeing her first film. She writes: I made a motion picture called In The Bishop's Carriage, Grandma thought from the title that it was a religious film. To her horror she discovered that I played the part of a thief. I was told that she almost had a fainting spell when I came out in a short ballet costume. She left the theater hurriedly, and doubtless covered her face in her hasty retreat. Surviving still photos from the film show a very lovely Mary in a skimpy costume for the time. In the interest of silent film cinema, one can only hope a copy of this Edwin S.Porter directed film resurfaces.

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