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Ella Cinders (1926)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 6 June 1926 (USA)
Poor Ella Cinders is much abused by her evil step-mother and step-sisters. When she wins a local beauty contest she jumps at the chance to get out of her dead-end life and go to Hollywood, ... See full summary »



(story), (story) | 5 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Waite Lifter
Ma Cinders
Doris Baker ...
Emily Gerdes ...
Prissy Pill
Film Studio Gateman
Jed Prouty ...
Jack Duffy ...
Fire Chief
Harry Allen ...
D'Arcy Corrigan ...


Poor Ella Cinders is much abused by her evil step-mother and step-sisters. When she wins a local beauty contest she jumps at the chance to get out of her dead-end life and go to Hollywood, where she is promised a job in the movies. When she arrives in Hollywood, she discoves that the contest was a scam and the job non-existant. But through pluck, luck, and talent, she makes it in the movies anyway, and finds true love. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ella Cinders - Cinderella of the Movies. See more »


Comedy | Romance






Release Date:

6 June 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Prêmio de Beleza  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First National bought the film rights to Ella Cinders from co-creators Charlie Plumb and Bill Counselman in late January of 1926. See more »


Featured in Hollywood: Single Beds and Double Standards (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

I had a ball!
4 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first heard of this film as a fan of the great film comedian Harry Langdon because of a guest appearance he makes in one scene of this film. Watching the whole thing, though, I was very glad I got ahold of this comedy vehicle for the silent star Colleen Moore; it's a highly funny, pleasant, and entertaining picture all the way through.

"Ella Cinders" is based on a comic strip (or, as the main title has it, "comedy strip") of the same name that started appearing only the year before the film version was made. Having seen only one edition of the strip I can't say how closely the movie parallels it, but I can say that while looking very pretty in the picture, Colleen Moore also manages to look very much like the drawings of her character.

Faithful or not, the screen treatment is a very good one -- a clever, witty, and involving update of, obviously, "Cinderella" and an effective satire of the arbitrary nature of Hollywood stardom. There are just enough diversions from the line of the story to stay funny, but keep the plot going. And the "Cinderella" elements can be very amusing when played right for laughs, especially Mrs Cinders' complete inability to remember she has another daughter.

Colleen Moore was the real revelation of the picture for me, though. If there were nothing else to it she could have carried it on charisma and screen presence alone. She's totally likable, earnest, innocent, and bewildered, and there are several great scenes that are only that way because her performance makes them so. The scene on the train that would otherwise be simply "a woman smokes a cigar given to her by an Indian" becomes a a bravura performance of her nausea barely masked by a frightened attempt to please the threatening Indians. And a highlight is Ella's earnest but inescapably silly attempts to follow a book's (surprisingly accurate!) advice that great stars are often made by crossing their eyes. Add to the list a hilarious routine with an impatient photographer, a fly, and an Ella desperate to have a flattering shot taken for her beauty contest.

It's a little ironic, actually, that a film that mocks Hollywood stardom in such an on-target way (Ella wins the contest because the fly on her nose made her look just right for the comediennes Hollywood needs!) should be so effectively "made" by its lead actress' star quality.

When Harry Langdon does show up (as Ella wanders into the shooting of one of his films -- he was at the height of his popular at this point and releasing his films through the same studio as released this) and seems exactly the same offscreen as on, he and Moore seem to have great screen chemistry, like kindred innocents trying to help each other escape... something.

Perhaps it's not substantial enough to be one of the greatest of silent comedies, but I think it would be very difficult if not impossible not to have a great time watching this. And it makes it very clear why Colleen Moore was such a sensation.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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