Daddy Long Legs

  • Directors: Marshall Neilan
  • Producers: Mary Pickford
  • Writers: Jean Webster, Agnes Christine Johnston
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Mary Pickford, Milla Davenport, Mahlon Hamilton

A police officer finds a baby in a trash can, and Mrs. Lippett, the cruel matron at an orphanage where children are made to work, names her “Jerusha Abbott” (she picks “Abbot” out of a phone book and gets “Jerusha” from a tombstone). The orphan, who comes to be called Judy, does what she can to stand up for the younger children, frequently clashing with both Mrs. Lippett and the cold hearted trustees. At one point she leads a rebellion against being served prunes with every meal and at another, steals a doll from a selfish rich girl to lend to a dying orphan.

Years later, wealthy Jervis Pendleton, a mysterious benefactor, pays to send Judy, now the oldest and most talented child in the orphanage, to college. He insists, however, that Judy must never try to contact him in person. Judy calls him “Daddy-Long-Legs,” and writes to him, however. Judy proves popular with her wealthier and more “aristocratic” classmates, and writes a successful book to repay “Daddy-Long-Legs” the money he spent on her. She is generally happy but misses not having any real family members to take pride in her accomplishments. Judy also finds herself caught up in a romantic triangle with the older brother of a classmate and an older man (who is, unknown to her, her mysterious benefactor). She eventually chooses the older suitor and is delighted to learn that he is her “Daddy-Long-Legs.”

Stella Maris

  • Directors: Marshall Neilan
  • Producers:
  • Writers: William J Locke, Frances Marion
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Mary Pickford

Stella Maris (Mary Pickford) was born paralyzed and is unable to walk. Her wealthy parents try to prevent her from being exposed to all the bad that is happening in the world. She is not allowed to leave her room in a London mansion and is bound to her bed. Her door even has a sign on it which says: “All unhappiness and world wisdom leave outside. Those without smiles need not enter.” [2] Stella has no idea a war is going on in the world and that there are poor and hungry people.

John Risca (Conway Tearle) is a well-known journalist and a friend of the family. He has been unhappily married to Louise for six years now and frequently visits Stella. John wants Stella to think he is perfect and lies about being married. Louise, meanwhile, wants a servant in her house and hires orphan Unity Blake (also Mary Pickford). Unity is uneducated and has been deprived and mistreated for her entire life. This resulted in her being afraid of everyone.

One night, a drunk Louise gives Unity the order to get some groceries from the supermarket. Unity does as told and on her way back, the food is stolen by kids. She returns to the home only to get beaten up by an outraged Louise. Unity is severely hurt and Louise gets arrested. It is announced she will have to serve three years in prison. John is kinder to Unity and adopts her. Unity is very grateful and falls in love with him. John himself is only interested in Stella. John wishes Unity to be raised at the Blount’s residence, but they don’t want her. They prevent her from meeting Stella, fearing Stella will notice there are suffering people in the world. They finally convince John to raise Unity at Aunt Gladys’ house.

Meanwhile, Unity wants to do John a favor by killing Louise. She realizes she and John never can be a couple and writes him a note which says he should get together with Stella. She next kills herself, making the police think it was a revenge murder. John is reunited with Stella and they marry.