Pollyanna (1920)

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“Pollyanna” is a novel by Eleanor H. Porter that was first published in 1913 and has been adapted into various films and adaptations. The 1920 silent film adaptation of the same name was directed by Paul Powell and starred Mary Pickford as the titular character.

The story follows Pollyanna Whittier, a young girl who is orphaned after her parents die. She is sent to live with her wealthy and strict Aunt Polly (Katherine Griffith) in the small town of Harrington. Despite the difficult circumstances, Pollyanna maintains a positive outlook on life and is determined to spread her optimistic attitude to everyone around her.

Pollyanna’s cheerful personality is initially met with resistance by her Aunt Polly and the townspeople, who see her as naive and foolish. However, her sunny disposition eventually begins to win over the hearts of the community, including her reclusive neighbor, Mr. Pendleton (Wharton James), and the town’s minister, Rev. Ford (Howard Ralston).

Pollyanna’s most significant contribution to the town is the “Glad Game,” a game she learned from her father, which involves finding something to be glad about in every situation. Through the Glad Game, Pollyanna inspires the townspeople to be more positive and compassionate towards one another.

However, the story takes a tragic turn when Pollyanna is injured in a car accident and is left unable to walk. The town rallies around her, and Pollyanna’s positive attitude is put to the ultimate test as she struggles to find a reason to be glad despite her disability.

In the end, Pollyanna’s influence on the town is profound, and her optimistic outlook continues to inspire those around her even after she is gone.

Overall, “Pollyanna” is a heartwarming tale of hope and positivity in the face of adversity. The character of Pollyanna has become a symbol of optimism and resilience, inspiring readers and audiences for over a century.

Paul Powell

Eleanor H. Porter, Catherine Chisholm Cushing, Frances Marion

Mary Pickford, Wharton James, Katherine Griffith

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