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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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Karl von Austreim
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Count Jules de Destin
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German Colonel
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German Captain
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Senator John Moore
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Bobby Moore
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Frederick von Austreim
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Mrs. von Austreim
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Angela's Great Aunt
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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)
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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

Angela Moore: Gentlemen - you are breaking into the home of an American citizen - I must ask you to leave!
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Connections

Featured in Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A good early Mary Pickford film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
17 February 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

This film is blatantly an anti-German propaganda film to which audiences flocked because America declared war on Germany a few months before its release. It's very effective even today, as I found myself despising the Germans for their actions, which included killing civilians and raping some women. Mary Pickford plays the title character, uncharacteristically a grown woman instead of a child she played in most of her films during the silent era. She is wooed by German-American Jack Holt and French-American Raymond Hatton when war breaks out in 1914. The Germans are depicted as being overly brutal.

There was one scene that made me laugh, when the Germans break the door down to enter her aunt's home. Mary tells them in deadly ernest while waving a small American flag, "Gentlemen - you are breaking into the home of an American citizen - I must ask you to leave." The Germans, led by Walter Long, roared with laughter too. I couldn't decide if it was comic relief or if you were suppose to sympathize with Mary.

I rather enjoyed the film for what it was. It was paced well by DeMille and the acting was fine but typical of early silents. Walter Long made a good heavy - he can sneer with the best of them.

You may notice in the cast list some famous names (Wallace Beery, Ramon Novarro, etc.) without character names. You never actually see these actors, but they are known to have been in the film from various writings, including DeMille's autobiography.


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