IMDb > Gretchen the Greenhorn (1916)

Gretchen the Greenhorn (1916) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
3 September 1916 (USA) See more »
A kindly Dutch immigrant and her bumbling father are blackmailed by a gang of counterfeiters. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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America Welcomes Dorothy Gish See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Chester M. Franklin  (as C.M. Franklin)
Sidney Franklin  (as S.A. Franklin)
Writing credits
Bernard McConville (story)

Cinematography by
Frank B. Good (photographed by) (uncredited)
Galen Biery .... special thanks (2004 restoration)
Karl E. Johnson .... special thanks (2004 version)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Cinetech  laboratory services (2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)
  • Silent Society of Hollywood  funding (2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)
  • YCM Labs  laboratory services (2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print) (as YCM Laboratories)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
58 min (2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

One of the films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives (2004)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. This film is preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archives, has a running time of 58 minutes and an added piano score.See more »


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America Welcomes Dorothy Gish, 4 July 2010
Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles

Hopeful "little" Dorothy Gish (as Gretchen) sails to America, "Fresh as the tulips of her native fields and green as the greatest grass that grows" in Holland. She reunites with poor engraver papa Ralph Lewis (as Jan Van Houck). Being a D.W. Griffith heroine, Ms. Gish arrives at her new home with a duck on a leash. She and her father may be hungry, but don't worry - we never see them eating the duck. They don't have a lot, but what they've got they share with frugal factory worker widow Kate Bush, who has a brood of hungry mouths to feed. Charmed by young Georgie Stone (as Micky Garrity), Gish lets the kid take the cake.

The blond tyke will later help Gish and Mr. Lewis battle counterfeiter Eugene Palette (as Rogers). Mr. Palette wants to take advantage of Lewis' engraving skills. Gish's most significant other neighbor is caring fellow immigrant Frank Bennett (as Pietro), with whom a budding romance develops. Playing the accordion, Mr. Bennett serenades Gish with songs "sung in English with an Italian accent." Their melting pot relationship is one of this above average "Triangle" production's modern strengths.

That this print of "Gretchen the Greenhorn" was found relatively recently, in a barn, will hopefully have everyone searching for similarly placed treasures. It's also a fine print, which shows off the film's keenly dressed sets, and generous locations. An ending sequence works too, although shot entirely in close-up; presumably, the lowly-regarded movie crew couldn't find a willing church. All of this helps overcome the often-recycled plot, which appealed to the mostly immigrant population of the country at large.

"Triangle" had released sister Lillian's "Sold for Marriage" in April (with a similar immigrant plot) and Norma Talmadge's "Going Straight (with this film's basic entourage) in June. Dorothy's film may look a little better because, at the time, she was a bigger star than either Lillian or Norma. Dorothy beat them both to the "Quigley Poll" Top Ten money-making stars, appearing at #7 in 1915.

****** Gretchen the Greenhorn (9/3/16) Chester & Sidney Franklin ~ Dorothy Gish, Frank Bennett, Ralph Lewis, Georgie Stone

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