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Little Orphant Annie (1918)

Surrounded by a group of children, poet James Whitcomb Riley narrates the story of Little Orphant Annie, who loses her mother at an early age and is sent to an orphanage. Annie charms the ... See full summary »


Colin Campbell


James Whitcomb Riley (story), Gilson Willets (scenario)

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Cast overview:
Colleen Moore ... Annie
Tom Santschi ... Dave Johnson
Harry Lonsdale ... Annie's Uncle
Eugenie Besserer ... Mrs. Goode
Doris Baker Doris Baker ... Orphan
Baby Lillian Wade ... Orphan (as Lillian Wade)
Ben Alexander ... Orphan
Billy Jacobs ... Orphan
George Hupp George Hupp ... Orphan
James Whitcomb Riley ... Himself (archive footage)
Mae Gaston Mae Gaston ... Annie's Mother
Lillian Hayward ... Aunt Elizabeth
Lafe McKee ... The Good Squire
Jean Stone Jean Stone ... Little Annie as a Child


Surrounded by a group of children, poet James Whitcomb Riley narrates the story of Little Orphant Annie, who loses her mother at an early age and is sent to an orphanage. Annie charms the other children with her stories of goblins and elves until her uncle comes to claim her. He and her aunt force Annie into a life of drudgery, treating her so cruelly that Big Dave, a neighboring farmer, takes her from them and places her in the charge of the kindly Squire Goode and his wife. Big Dave, who intends to marry Annie, is called away to fight in World War I. When Annie hears the news that he has been killed, she pretends to be gravely ill but wakes up to learn that it has all been a dream. Written by Pamela Short

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

December 1918 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Pleasanton, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(Library of Congress BD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie is the earliest known film appearance of Colleen Moore to survive. See more »

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User Reviews

17 August 2017 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

The 35mm restored print shown here at Capitolfest in Rome, N.Y. is a marvel of modern technology. It was spliced together using several sources and lost footage inserted and owes its existence to a 1926 reissue by an obscure distributor from a 16mm print. The good people at the Library Of Congress did the honors.

There are several innovative photographic touches used in the film including overhead track shots, dissolves, multiple exposures and other camera shots, plus tinting that make the picture seem newer than it really is. Speaking for myself I did not feel it was good as I had anticipated and is a somewhat overrated film. The best of the camera tricks are the scenes in which Annie moralizes about superimposed ghosts and goblins that will "get ya if ya don't watch out!", as she tells the other children in the foster home. Very clever for 1918. It was hard to be drawn into the film though, most likely due to the disjointed nature of the print itself. Great to see it and appreciate the effort that went in to this restoration of an almost 100 year old movie.

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