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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917)

With her family in financial difficulties, Rebecca is sent to live with her two strict, unfeeling aunts, who do not appreciate the young girl's charm and energy. Rebecca must make new ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Rebecca Randall
... Adam Ladd
... Hannah Randall
... Mr. Cobb
... Emma Jane Perkins
Mayme Kelso ... Jane Sawyer
... Mrs. Randall (as Jane Wolff)
... Miranda Sawyer
Jack McDonald ... Reverend Jonathan Smellie
Violet Wilkey ... Minnie Smellie
F.A. Turner ... Mr. Simpson (as Frank Turner)
Kate Toncray ... Mrs. Simpson
Emily Gerdes ... Clara Belle Simpson (as Emma Gordes)
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Storyline

With her family in financial difficulties, Rebecca is sent to live with her two strict, unfeeling aunts, who do not appreciate the young girl's charm and energy. Rebecca must make new friends and must adjust to surroundings that are sometimes difficult. But she still finds time to think of numerous ways to help others in her new hometown. Written by Snow Leopard

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The end of Rebecca's circus career.

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Comedy | Drama

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22 September 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le petit démon  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

One of many Silent Era motion pictures starring "America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford which were remade as Shirley Temple vehicles. Known as the "Girl with the Curls," Pickford's box-office hits included The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), and The Little Princess (1917). In the mid-1930s, 20th Century Fox studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck re-purposed Pickford's films as vehicles for Temple and thus produced Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938), The Little Princess (1939), etc. Zanuck also instructed studio publicists to use Pickford's persona and nicknames as a model for Temple's public image as a Hollywood star. See more »

Connections

Edited into American Experience: Mary Pickford (2005) See more »

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One of Pickford's lesser 'little girl' films
9 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

During her tenure as 'America's Sweetheart', Mary Pickford made a lot of very similar films. Again and again, Mary played young girls and teenagers--even though she was clearly a woman in her 30s or 40s. America and the world loved it and didn't seem to mind. However, if you've seen as many of her films as I have, there is definitely a certain sameness about these performances. Again and again, she played a plucky, decent, adorable and slightly mischievous girl--in such films as "Daddy Long Legs", "Sparrows", "Pollyanna" and many others. I generally like these performances despite the sameness and this was true with all her fans. However, in the case of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm", she plays a similar sort of creature but the film is definitely not up to her usually high standards. Why? Mostly because the film is, at times, practically plot less.

The film begins with Rebecca (Pickford playing someone about age 14) going to live with her two elderly aunts. It seems that Rebecca's family is having financial problems and the aunts have offered to take one of the children in and adopt them--and the one turns out to be Rebecca. What follows is no real consistent theme--just a variety of incidents. Some involve Rebecca fighting with some stuck up girls at school, some with her attempts to help a local poor family and a very few involve Rebecca and her aunts. However, there really isn't much of a theme or purpose to all this. SOME attempt is made with the introduction of the Mr. Ladd character, but this is also very under-developed and a bit creepy. See the film and you'll understand about the whole 'creepy' angle. Overall, a film that left me surprisingly cold considering that I like Pickford's films...just not this one. Now I am not saying it's bad--just not nearly as good as her typical 'little girl' film.

By the way, if you want something other than these sorts of portrayals by Pickford, try finding a copy of "My Best Girl"-- probably her best film and one of the great silents.


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