Little Sara Crewe is placed in a boarding school by her father when he goes off to war, but he does not understand that the headmistress is a cruel, spiteful woman who makes life miserable ... See full summary »
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 JulesWritten by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mary Pickford ("Born on the Fourth of July" as Angela Moore) is "The Little American" (of French heritage); she falls in love with Jack Holt (as Karl Von Austreim), who had moved to America with his German father and American mother. French-American Raymond Hatton (as Count Jules de Destin of the "Fighting Destins") has fallen in love with Ms. Pickford. The love triangled threesome eventually wind up in France, with the Great War (World War I, in hindsight) complicating their lives considerably.
A mostly entertaining, if propagandistically flawed, Cecil B. DeMille film. The torpedoing, and sinking, of a ship carrying Pickford is "Titanic"-like. The war intrigue gets dramatic as Pickford slowly becomes an undercover spy for France, while the Germans occupy her ancestral home. Of course, German lover Holt arrives. It was difficult to believe they took so long to recognize each other as he moved in for the rape, but it was dark; and, prior events had them believe each other dead. The film goes WAY over-the-top in its symbolism. Pickford was, by the way, Canadian - though, few could deny she wasn't a "Little American", for all intents and purposes.
FUN to spot "extras" who later became major stars include Wallace Beery, Colleen Moore, and Ramon Novarro - especially, watch for Mr. Novarro exhibiting "star" quality during one of the film's more memorable sequences: Pickford and the wounded soldier saluting each other as he is taken by her on a stretcher. Novarro even gets Mary Pickford to write a letter for him; obviously, he's got a future in pictures. Also future-bound is Ben Alexander, who plays the boy "Bobby"; he becomes a dependable child actor, and grows up to become a Jack Webb partner on "Dragnet".
******* The Little American (7/12/17) Cecil B. DeMille ~ Mary Pickford, Jack Holt, Raymond Hatton
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