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Cinderella (1914)

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Based on the fairy tale: Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, but is able to go to the royal ball through the help of the Fairy Godmother.

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Title: Cinderella (1914)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Isabel Vernon ...
Georgia Wilson ...
Lucille Carney ...
W.N. Cone ...
Inez Ranous ...
Fairy Godmother (as Inez Marcel)
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Storyline

Based on the fairy tale: Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, and is forced to live as their servant. One day, the Fairy Godmother appears to the family disguised as an elderly, destitute woman. The others treat her harshly, but Cinderella is kind to her and feeds her. The Fairy Godmother invisibly helps Cinderella, helping her when she goes to gather wood, and enabling her to meet Prince Charming as he travels through the forest. Soon afterward, the king plans a great ball so that the prince can meet all the women and choose one for his bride. Cinderella must help her family prepare for the ball, while she stays at home. But the Fairy Godmother appears again, and miraculously enables Cinderella to go after all, with dramatic consequences. Written by Snow Leopard

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Fantasy | Drama

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Release Date:

28 December 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Stepsister  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Good Version For Its Time, With A Good Role For Pickford
30 December 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

In its time, this must have been the longest and most ambitious screen version of the familiar story of "Cinderella". So many later versions have been made with the advantage of more recent technology that a 1914 version could never be expected to meet the same standards, but it's a good version for its time, and it stars Mary Pickford in a good role for her. Other than moving a bit slowly at times, almost everything about the feature is of good quality by the standards of its era.

Pickford is certainly well-cast as Cinderella, in one of her earliest full-length movie roles. It's no accident that she would eventually play characters like Pollyanna, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and so many other similar roles. She was able to make such characters instantly sympathetic and believable, and her attractive appearance and engaging personality worked well in many different situations. Her later features would give her a wider variety of material to work with than this does, but she does well here with each scene.

Owen Moore, who was married to Pickford at the time, plays Prince Charming. Moore does not have much range as an actor, but he has a good silent screen presence, and that is what this role most calls for. The two mean-spirited stepsisters seem to be played (despite what the posted cast list may imply) by two male actors, giving the characters a humorously ugly appearance and humorously ungainly movements.

There are numerous visual effects, and director James Kirkwood made an interesting choice by filming most of them with gradual dissolves rather than with the stop-motion, sudden change technique that was more common. Neither method is necessarily better or worse; they are just different in the effect that each creates. There are also some good dream effects, especially an amusing sequence after Cinderella misses her midnight deadline.

For the most part, only silent movie fans will have any significant interest in this. But if you can evaluate it by the standards of its own time, it's a pleasant little movie and a chance to see the charming Mary Pickford while she was in the process of developing her many talents.


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