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The Little American (1917)

 |  Drama, Romance, War  |  12 July 1917 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 480 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Karl von Austreim
Raymond Hatton ...
Count Jules de Destin
Hobart Bosworth ...
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

Taglines:

The silent sufferers. 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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Wallace Beery. 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 The House That Shadows Built (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pickford the War Hero
10 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When the US entered World War I, the government forced Hollywood to churn out propaganda films. THE LITTLE American is probably the best of the lot because it stars Mary Pickford.

Pickford plays a young woman torn between two men: Jack Holt (German) and Raymond Hatton (French), but her decision is delayed because of the war as both men enlist.

When the ship Pickford is sailing on is sunk by the Germans (think Lusitania) because it is carrying munitions, Pickford has a great scene as she stands on the lifeboat and yells at the German commander. Later on, of course, she runs into both Holt and Hatton when she is being held as a war prisoner at a château.

Director Cecil B. DeMille provides one truly great scene in this film as Pickford and Holt are wandering through a bombed-out village. They pass a destroyed church of which only one wall remains standing. Against the wall is a very large crucifix. As they stand and watch, the wall collapses but the Jesus figure remains, suspended in mid air. It's a very surreal moment in a film that is otherwise very straightforward and un-artsy.

Pickford is, as always, a pleasure to watch. She was always a very natural actress who avoided the arm-waving histrionics many other actors of the day used. She's also very very pretty. Holt is very good here in a leading-man role. Hatton is OK. Among the list of name actors in "extra" parts are Wallace Beery, Ramon Novarro, Colleen Moore, Ben Alexander, Hobart Bosworth, Norman Kerry, Walter Long, James Neill, and Edythe Chapman.

Not a great film, but interesting to see US propaganda at work.


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