Following the death of her beloved minister father (J. Wharton James), Ozark girl Pollyanna (Mary Pickford) travels to the faraway town of Beldingsville to be raised by Polly (Katherine Griffith), her cantankerous spinster aunt. Teaching everyone in town the "Glad Game," Pollyanna improves the mood of the locals and even finds a home for her orphan friend, Jimmy (Howard Ralston). But when a serious injury dampens her cheer, Pollyanna needs the love of her distant aunt in order to recover.
Director: Paul Powell
Silent with live Piano accompaniement
Helen Jerome Eddy
By Ron Oliver
POLLYANNA, the young orphan of an Ozark missionary, arrives in New England to live with her spinster Aunt Polly, a withdrawn & bitter woman. Through her `Glad Game' - finding joy in every situation - irrepressible Pollyanna slowly begins to change the lives of the entire community, eventually finding the love she so desperately craves.
This splendid family film, based on the Eleanor H. Porter classic, is as spunky & cheerful as its innocent heroine. 28-year old Mary Pickford is wonderfully believable as a little girl. She exhibits the sweet charm which made her the world's most famous celebrity. She dominates her every scene with star quality few others ever possessed.
The rest of the cast is also very good, especially Katherine Griffith as sullen Aunt Polly & Howard Ralston as young orphan Jimmy Bean. The sets & location filming are also worthy of mention.
It would be hard to find a role more suitable for a particular actress than the role of "Pollyanna" is for Mary Pickford, and in this adaptation she adds her own charm to the old-fashioned story about the 'glad girl'. This version moves quickly, and has a good balance between humor and drama, with Pickford making the most of what the unashamedly upbeat story offers.
The story is the familiar one of young Pollyanna moving in with her austere Aunt Polly (Katherine Griffith, who is pretty good in the role), making a habit of finding ways to brighten the lives of those who need it, but then finding herself faced with a crisis in her own life. The characters are fairly simple, but the cast portrays them believably. The script does a good job of telling the story efficiently and enjoyably, and everything fits together pretty well.