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HISTORY

The novel first appeared serialized in Ladies' Home Journal , Apr-Sep 1912. As noted in contemporary sources, this was the first film made by the Mary Pickford Co. Jean Webster's novel and play were filmed several more times: in 1931 by Fox, with Janet Gaynor and Warner Baxter starring and Alfred Santell directing; in 1935 by Fox as Curly Top , with Shirley Temple starring and Irving Cummings directing (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; in 1938 in the Netherlands as Vadertje Langbeen , with Friedrich Zelnik directing; and in 1955 by Twentieth Century-Fox, with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron starring and Jean Negulesco ... More Less

The novel first appeared serialized in Ladies' Home Journal , Apr-Sep 1912. As noted in contemporary sources, this was the first film made by the Mary Pickford Co. Jean Webster's novel and play were filmed several more times: in 1931 by Fox, with Janet Gaynor and Warner Baxter starring and Alfred Santell directing; in 1935 by Fox as Curly Top , with Shirley Temple starring and Irving Cummings directing (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; in 1938 in the Netherlands as Vadertje Langbeen , with Friedrich Zelnik directing; and in 1955 by Twentieth Century-Fox, with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron starring and Jean Negulesco directing. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ETR
21 Dec 1918
p. 226.
ETR
24 May 1919
p. 1933.
MPN
24 May 1919
p. 3466.
MPW
7 Jun 1919
p. 3848, 3860
New York Times
12 May 1919
p. 11.
Variety
16 May 1919
p. 54.
Wid's
18 May 1919
p. 7.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Assisted by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster (New York, 1912) and her play of the same name (New York, 28 Sep 1914).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 May 1919
Copyright Claimant:
First National Exhibitors Circuit, Inc. and Mary Pickford Co.
Copyright Date:
12 May 1919
Copyright Number:
LP13703
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,200
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The poverty and mean-spirited atmosphere of an orphanage do little to suppress the youthful prankishness and compassion of Judy Abbott, an orphan found in an ash can. When she becomes a teenager, an anonymous new trustee pays for her to go to college on the condition she never meet him. Seeing only his tall shadow, Judy deems him "Daddy-Long-Legs" and soon begins to write him long letters telling him about her life. During the next year, Princeton freshman Jimmie McBride and Jarvis Pendleton, the wealthy uncle of one of Judy's classmates, become attentive to Judy and jealous of each other. Judy rejects Jimmie because he is too young and although she loves Jarvis, she fears revealing her orphanage background, so she tells him that their age difference is too great. Despite her humble beginnings, after graduating from college, Judy becomes a successful writer and begins sending money to her Daddy-Long-Legs to repay his kindness. Although she never has received a response from her benefactor, she determines to visit him after he fails to answer her most recent letter only to find that Daddy-Long-Legs is Jarvis. Having been seriously ill, he had not seen her letter until that morning, but his joyful embrace calms her immediate ... +


The poverty and mean-spirited atmosphere of an orphanage do little to suppress the youthful prankishness and compassion of Judy Abbott, an orphan found in an ash can. When she becomes a teenager, an anonymous new trustee pays for her to go to college on the condition she never meet him. Seeing only his tall shadow, Judy deems him "Daddy-Long-Legs" and soon begins to write him long letters telling him about her life. During the next year, Princeton freshman Jimmie McBride and Jarvis Pendleton, the wealthy uncle of one of Judy's classmates, become attentive to Judy and jealous of each other. Judy rejects Jimmie because he is too young and although she loves Jarvis, she fears revealing her orphanage background, so she tells him that their age difference is too great. Despite her humble beginnings, after graduating from college, Judy becomes a successful writer and begins sending money to her Daddy-Long-Legs to repay his kindness. Although she never has received a response from her benefactor, she determines to visit him after he fails to answer her most recent letter only to find that Daddy-Long-Legs is Jarvis. Having been seriously ill, he had not seen her letter until that morning, but his joyful embrace calms her immediate confusion. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.