Mary Pickford (who we saw in “Friends” and “The New York Hat”) stars in this version of the classic fairy tale put out by Famous Players Film Company, which was still making movies in New York in late 1914. It makes use of tinting, split screens, close-ups, and other camera effects to show the magical world in which it takes place. Mary is both lovely and kind, while her stepmother and step-sisters are ugly and cruel. The intertitles often emphasize qualities such as these, rather than explaining actions or dialogue in greater detail. Mary actually meets Prince Charming (played by Owen Moore, who looks uncomfortable in leotards, and was in “Resurrection” and “In the Border States”) in the woods before the Ball, where he demonstrates his decency to the disdain of his retinue. Like Pickford, the director, James Kirkwood, Sr., had come up from working for D.W. Griffith in such early movies as “A Corner in Wheat” and “The Red Man’s View.” There’s a scene where the stepsisters go to visit a fortuneteller – a classic witch with a cauldron and a gaggle of dwarven familiars – to find out that “a member of your family” will be chosen by the Prince to marry. I’m fairly certain the witch is played by a man, but I couldn’t identify him.
Director: James Kirkwood, Sr.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Owen Moore, Inez Marcel
Run Time: 52 Min
You can watch it for free: here.