15 user 2 critic

Pollyanna (1920)

An orphan's optimistic outlook brings a change to the ill-tempered town in which she resides to her aunt.


Paul Powell


Eleanor H. Porter (based on the book by), Catherine Chisholm Cushing (based on: the 4-act comedy by) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Mary Pickford ... Pollyanna Whittier
Wharton James Wharton James ... Rev. John Whittier (as J. Wharton James)
Katherine Griffith ... Aunt Polly
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Nancy Thing
George Berrell ... Old Tom
Howard Ralston Howard Ralston ... Jimmy Bean
William Courtleigh ... John Pendleton
Herbert Prior ... Dr. Chilton


When Pollyanna is orphaned, she is sent to live with her crotchety Aunt Polly. Pollyanna discovers that many of the people in her aunt's New England home town are as ill-tempered as her aunt. But Pollyanna's incurable optimism - exemplified by her "glad game," in which she looks for the bright side of every situation - bring a change to the staid old community. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"POLLYANNA" is bringing joy and new hope to millions. As you watch her the "glad" feeling creeps through your veins and into your heart and lo! you find yourself loving even your enemies and trying to do good by them. (Print Ad- Newark Sunday Call, ((Newark, NJ)) 11 April 1920) See more »


Family | Comedy | Drama


TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Of this film, screenwriter Frances Marion said, "We proceeded with the dull routine of making a picture we both thought nauseating . . . I hated writing it, Mary [Mary Pickford] hated playing it." See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1972, the Mary Pickford Co. copyrighted a version with an organ score played played by Gaylord Carter. Produced by Matty Kemp, it runs 60 minutes, about 2 of which is a historical introduction. See more »


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


Rock-a-Bye Baby
Written by Effie I. Canning
Lyrics in an intertitle when Pollyanna sings to her dying father
Played on organ by Gaylord Carter in the alternate version
See more »

User Reviews

Orphan In Trouble

"Pollyanna" was a film directed by Herr Paul Powell which starred Dame Mary Pickford. This was a faithful first adaptation for the screen of the famous and best-seller novel written by Eleanor H. Porter. It was very difficult to understand for this German Count due to the strange concepts and feelings with which this silent film deals. They include such strange subjects for the aristocracy like kindness, merriment and solidarity (thanks Gott there is also in the film evil aunties, bad weather and illness, German earthly matters that this aristocrat knows well).

Obviously such film story with human sentiments (another orphan in trouble) was perfect for Dame Pickford. This film was her first work for United Artists, that Amerikan company founded by Herr Chaplin, Herr Griffith and Herr Fairbanks together with America's sweetheart. She's a glad girl who displays her charm and good intentions to anyone at hand. The film, as the book of which was based on, was a big success in those early silent times and many film critics considered this film as one of the best in Dame Pickford's film career, a statement with which this German Count doesn't agree.

Keeping in mind those kind-hearted and innocent characters ( Dame Pickford speciality ) and the context or even the taste of the popular audience in those early times, the film it is many ways, simplistic and predictable. That's not to the mention Herr Powell's direction which is monotonous and without risks. He seems to think that with Dame Pickford's talent on the screen, that is enough for succeed. Although Dame Pickford gives her best effort, the Amerika's sweethart has better performances, more elaborated, and the most incredible thing … credible.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count is glad to be again in Teutonic humour.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/

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None | English

Release Date:

18 January 1920 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ruiseñor del pueblo See more »


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mary Pickford Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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