6.9/10
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12 user 5 critic

The Little American (1917)

A young American has her ship torpedoed by a German U-boat but makes it back to ancestral home in France, where she witnesses German brutality firsthand.

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(uncredited), (uncredited)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Karl von Austreim
...
Count Jules de Destin
...
German Colonel
Walter Long ...
German Captain
James Neill ...
Senator John Moore
...
Bobby Moore
Guy Oliver ...
Frederick von Austreim
Edythe Chapman ...
Mrs. von Austreim
Lillian Leighton ...
Angela's Great Aunt
DeWitt Jennings ...
English Barrister
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Storyline

German-American Karl and French-American Jules are in love with Angela when each returns to his country as war breaks out. She sails for France and while there is nearly raped by Karl as the Germans invade. She is later arrested for sending secret messages to Jules but Karl defends her. Both are saved from execution by the arrival of the French forces and Count Jules Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Mary Pickford in a stirring photoplay of great patriotic appeal See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Pequena Americana  »

Box Office

Budget:

$166,949 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Ramon Novarro. See more »

Quotes

Count Jules De Destin: Since you are determined to stay, Mademoiselle, you may render France a great service.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent
10 August 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Little American, The (1917)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Cecil B. DeMille would eventually become known for his over the top films but I guess you can follow this type of film-making back to 1917 and this picture. The film starts off in America where Angela Moore (Mary Pickford) is being courted by both a German (Jack Holt) and a Frenchman (Raymond Hatton). When WW1 breaks out both men head off to fight for their different countries and soon Mary, now in France, comes under attack by German troops and Holt will have to decide to save her or stand up for his evil country. This film is so over the top in its patriotism that at times it becomes quite laughable. At the start of the film, when Pickford's character is introduced, we learn that she was born on the Fourth of July. When we first see her there's a big American flag waving behind her as she gives that lovely smile towards the camera. Overall this film is a mixed bag full of some great stuff but also containing a lot of weak stuff. The good stuff includes a strong performance by both Pickford and Holt who settle into their roles quite well. Apparently Pickford hated working for DeMille but that doesn't really show as she delivers her strong performance. The battle scenes, for the most part, are pretty good as well. The most interesting aspect of the film is how they show the evils being done by the German's at the time and this includes showing them raping some women as well as killing elderly men. The weak stuff is all the propaganda running throughout the film. I know this was common for the day but this film takes it to a whole new level. Another silly sequence is when Pickford's U-Boat is hit by a German torpedo. The special effects here are so bad that you can tell the boat seems to be a plastic one floating in a tub. The scenes towards the end where Pickford runs into Jesus on the cross doesn't contain the magic that DeMille was going for either. In the end, this is a mixed bag but fans of DeMille and Pickford would probably want to check it out but D.W. Griffith's Hearts of the World is much better.


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