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Pieni rikas tyttö-parka (1917) Online

Pieni rikas tyttö-parka (1917) Online
Original Title :
The Poor Little Rich Girl
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Drama / Family / Fantasy / Romance
Year :
Directror :
Maurice Tourneur
Cast :
Mary Pickford,Madlaine Traverse,Charles Wellesley
Writer :
Eleanor Gates,Frances Marion
Type :
Time :
1h 5min
Rating :
Pieni rikas tyttö-parka (1917) Online

Gwen's family is rich, but her parents ignore her and most of the servants push her around, so she is lonely and unhappy. Her father is concerned only with making money, and her mother cares only about her social position. But one day a servant's irresponsibility creates a crisis that causes everyone to rethink what is important to them.
Cast overview:
Mary Pickford Mary Pickford - Gwendolyn 'Gwen'
Madlaine Traverse Madlaine Traverse - Gwendolyn's Mother
Charles Wellesley Charles Wellesley - Gwendolyn's Father
Gladys Fairbanks Gladys Fairbanks - Jane
Frank McGlynn Sr. Frank McGlynn Sr. - The Plumber
Emile La Croix Emile La Croix - The Organ Grinder
Marcia Harris Marcia Harris - Miss Royale
Charles Craig Charles Craig - Thomas
Frank Andrews Frank Andrews - Potter
Herbert Prior Herbert Prior - The Doctor
George Gernon George Gernon - Johnny Blake
Maxine Elliott Hicks Maxine Elliott Hicks - Susie May Squoggs (as Maxine Hicks)

Mary Pickford was 25 years old when she played the 11 year old Gwen in this movie. Her short stature helped the illusion of youth.

One of many Silent Era motion pictures starring "America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford which were remade as Shirley Temple vehicles. Known as the "Girl with the Curls," Pickford's box-office hits included The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), and The Little Princess (1917). In the mid-1930s, 20th Century Fox studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck re-purposed Pickford's films as vehicles for Temple and thus produced Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938), The Little Princess (1939), etc. Zanuck also instructed studio publicists to use Pickford's persona and nicknames as a model for Temple's public image as a Hollywood star. (Frank McGlynn Sr., who plays the plumber in this film, would also co-star with Temple in Little Miss Marker (1934) and The Littlest Rebel (1935).)

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991.

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.

User reviews



This delightful film marked a turning point in the career of Mary Pickford, the first time in adulthood that she played a little girl. The illusion was enhanced with specially scaled sets and props that made Mary look smaller, and also by casting unusually tall actors as the "grown-ups," but it wouldn't have worked if Mary herself hadn't been such a gifted performer in her own right. She is remarkably convincing as 11 year-old Gwendolyn. It's notable that when Mary (who was 24 when this film was made) plays scenes opposite Maxine Elliott (who was 12 at the time), the illusion is not spoiled. The great success of The Poor Little Rich Girl at the box office ensured that Mary Pickford would be playing little girls well into her 30s, despite occasional attempts to demonstrate more versatility. Eventually she came to consider the role something of a curse, but in any event the film holds up nicely today: it's interesting, suspenseful, and funny, with odd touches of surrealism during the extended dream sequence that forms the climax.

Mary's Gwendolyn is certainly a sympathetic protagonist. The story paints a vivid picture of the girl's loneliness and her desperation to receive some attention from her high society parents, but she's no sad sack-- she's a spirited kid bursting with vitality, though she's surrounded by servants who devote themselves to stifling her energy. She's sheltered but no snob, and much of the havoc she creates comes when she invites some of the scruffier neighborhood kids inside to play. The comic high point is a mud fight that takes place in the green house of Gwendolyn's home. (Oddly enough, Mary Pickford revealed in later years that director Maurice Tourneur was opposed to the inclusion of this sequence and had to be persuaded to film it.) The mud fight is great fun, but for me the movie's real highlight comes when Gwendolyn, ill and delirious, has a bizarre dream that offers metaphors for her life and the people she's known. For instance, her mean-spirited governess, described earlier as a "snake in the grass," actually appears as such in the dream, while another character is shown to be "two-faced." I won't reveal any more of the imagery for anyone who might see this film, except to note that the dream sequence alone is worth the price of admission.

P.S. I happened to see The Poor Little Rich Girl at a recent screening at the Museum of the City of New York, where locally-made movies are occasionally shown. Viewers interested in New York City history may be interested to learn that this film includes location scenes of Mary taking a ride along Riverside Drive as well as some brief shots of Wall Street. My fellow New Yorkers got a big laugh at one point when Gwendolyn's father contemplates selling his mansion for $35,000!


Wealthy ten-year-old Mary Pickford (as Gwen) lives in a beautiful mansion; she has everything she needs, except love. She must make an appointment to see her father (Charles Wellesley), who spends his time wheeling and dealing; and, she barely gets an opportunity to see her mother (Madlaine Traverse), who is busily attending to social duties. Her parents do not have time to spend with lonely Ms. Pickford; and, she is left in the care of unloving servants...

A lot of studio trickery helps to make Pickford believable as the fun-loving, independent and lonely little Gwendolyn; her age is not at all vague, as her 11th birthday is celebrated during the running time. You'll notice the large sets, and tall actors (standing on telephone books, no doubt) right away. Yet, finally, it's Pickford who pulls off the ruse. When she sits down for her tutoring, in close-up, Pickford makes the character a fully believable individual. The effort to make Pickford appear small adds to the film's surreal whimsicality.

Importantly, "The Poor Little Rich Girl" is the first of Pickford's adult portrayals of little girls. Her relative youth, and lack of "affected" mannerisms, is an early strength; she is fresh, and convincing. Later on, Pickford's portrayals suffered, as she employed stock muggings, pouts, and grimaces (to be fair, these were responsive to moviegoers increasing demand she remain in the "little girl" roles). Subsequently, the Pickford mannerisms were more cloyingly adopted by Shirley Temple, and others; for example, note how closely Pickford resembles Ms. Temple after she dons a boy's hat and clothes.

Director Maurice Tourneur and set designer Ben Carré help create the extraordinary, whimsical world "Gwen" inhabits. There are some "special effect" sequences, ending with a drug-induced delirium. Therein, Pickford dreams about the day's people and events; and, finally, she meets the beckoning figure of death, who invites: "Here, in the forest, dark and deep, I offer you, eternal sleep…" Maxine Elliott Hicks and Herbert Prior are among the more notable supporting players. Frequent Pickford writer Frances Marion does a fantastic job bringing story details together; she, Pickford, Mr. Tourneur, and Mr. Carré certainly created a monster.

********** The Poor Little Rich Girl (3/5/17) Maurice Tourneur ~ Mary Pickford, Maxine Elliott Hicks, Herbert Prior


In addition to typecasting Mary Pickford as playing child characters, this role established her as America's Sweetheart. The 24-year-old Pickford plays an 11-year-old rich girl, who's neglected by her parents and is raised by nasty housekeepers and several personal schoolmarms. The only playmate she's allowed is a bore. Of course, every viewer sympathizes with the character's predicament, and Pickford gets the most out of that. The mud fight and tantrum scenes add some amusement between the more gushy moments and the great dream sequence.

Much of the credit here also needs to go to the screenwriter Frances Marion. Besides being a woman in a male-dominated business, she was one of the first scenarists to have creative control over productions. Like another female screenwriter, Anita Loos, Marion helped introduce the role of intertitles in silent film (as opposed to the tableau style of title cards only to introduce scenes). Both women also sometimes demonstrated their authorship with self-referential winks; Marion's "Armarilly of Clothes-Line Alley" and Loos's "Wild and Woolly" are two examples--where the authors expose their constructions with one intertitle.

Pickford does well to overcome the weirdness of an adult playing the role of a child. Moreover, the setting of a mansion, in addition to large props and tall actors accentuate Pickford's natural smallness, but more needed to be done about her adult figure. Director Maurice Tourneur and the film-making crew add appropriate, non-intrusive style to this sweet photoplay, providing Pickford with the most important vehicle of her career.


With a good combination of a thoughtful story and entertaining scenes, this Mary Pickford vehicle works well and is pleasant to watch. Pickford is surprisingly convincing in portraying the "Poor Little Rich Girl", a character who is supposed to be less than half the age of the actress - some creative set design and Pickford's own charm and enthusiasm make it work.

Much of the film simply describes the world of young Gwen (Pickford), neglected by her parents and bullied by most of the servants, and thus lonely and unhappy despite living amidst material abundance. It picks up the pace as it moves along, and the best part is the dream sequence near the end - it is quite amusing, and also does a nice job of summarizing the themes of the story. The minor characters are worked into the story well, and a couple of them are entertaining in their own right.

When you put Pickford and her winsome style in a story like this, chances are good that it's going to be enjoyable to watch, and this is not an exception. It's a nice little film, and worth the trouble to find.


This is an exquisite film and a wonderful introduction to Mary Pickford if you are unfamiliar with her films. "The Poor Little Rich Girl" was originally done on the stage in 1913 with Viola Dana playing Gwendolyn. Even though Mary had played young girls in all her feature films, this was the first time she had ever portrayed a child (except the Famous Players Lasky film "A Good Little Devil" - a role Mary had originated on the stage in 1913 for David Belasco). She could have no better director than Maurice Tourneur.

Tourneur, a French director, specialised in fantasy films ( "The Blue Bird", "Prunella", "Treasure Island", "The Wishing Ring" etc) and he bought style and imagination to them. In the dream sequence, which so brilliantly explores the mind of a child, Gwen brings the nick names she hears to life. Her father is "made of money", the servants are "big ears", "two faced thing" and "snake in the grass". She goes to the land where they "burn candles at both ends". This is so magically done by Tourneur, who certainly expanded the film from how I could imagine the play. The sets and actors also seem to be on a larger scale to make Mary appear even tinier than she was (I think she was 4' 10").

Gwen (Mary Pickford) is a poor little rich girl, who's father is too busy making money and her mother has too many social obligations to give her the attention and affection she needs. The servants who are introduced by the title - "Servants by name - Masters by disposition" - are seen as bullying tyrants. All except "Silly Ass" - the only one Gwen has a strong affection for.

One afternoon she has fun - she invites the organ grinder and a street boy in and she and Mr. Piper (the man who fixes the pipes) have a dance. The street kids feel sorry for Gwen and call her the poor little rich girl. Another day one of her mother's friends brings her own little girl over to play but Susie May (Maxine Elliott Hicks) is not nice, is a sneak and a tattle tale and gets Gwen into trouble. Gwen gets her own back when she makes Susie sit on a plate of cakes. Gwen's mother then forces her to give up her best lace dress but Gwen refuses and throws all her clothes out of the window - the neighbourhood kids then take them. To punish her, her father forces her to dress in boys clothes but she secretly likes it and joins a boy's street gang.

The underlying theme is that Gwen is searching for happiness. The film takes a very dramatic turn when Gwen is given an overdose of sleeping medicine by two servants who want the evening off to visit the theater. Mr. Piper is the person who finds her and in her delirium, her parents realise how much they have neglected her when she almost dies. Her father, who has lost most of his money in the Stock Market crash realises that his family will be happier, living a simpler life in the country.

Highly Recommended.


Like so many of the silents, there is a powerful message here about family and the importance of family. Here is a little girl with everything money can buy except the time of her parents. They are so busy with making money and the social circuit they have no time for their little girl (Mary Pickford). As is also the case with so many silents, the cue cards make sure that we understand the points the makers want made. And as has been the case in so many other silents, the movie makes its points very well and did not need the extra cue cards to make them. Having said that, this is a very good movie. Early films could do a very good job of telling a story and making a statement. This one does indeed do both.
Silly Dog

Silly Dog

I'm surprised no one has mentioned how much "The Wizard of Oz" had borrowed from this film.

A little girl goes to a fantasy dreamland where she meets characters who are dopplegangers of the people she knows in the real world.

And in the end, she's in bed, with a compress on her head, surrounded by loved ones.

The only difference is in this film we go back and forth between the fantasy and the reality, where in "Oz" we don't know it's a dream until the end.

(The back and forth device reminded me of an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in which in one reality she's fighting vampires, but in another reality she's in a mental hospital being treated for having delusions that she's a vampire slayer.)

Either way, this is obviously an extremely influential film.


If you had to pick a typical Mary Pickford film to understand her appeal in silent movies you should look no further than The Poor Little Rich Girl. In this the 24 Mary with the curls that audiences the world over loved, plays an 11-12 year old girl, neglected by her status conscious parents.

Not that the idea was anything new, but Mary does put it over quite well. Her parents Madlaine Traverse are caught up in their busy societal world and pretty much ignore their child. But when she accidentally overdoses on some medicine and hovers between life and death her parents wake up and smell the coffee.

One thing I found absolutely fascinating was that apparently as a punishment for misbehavior one was forced to wear the clothes of the opposite sex. That certainly raises some interesting questions about gender identity in American society in 1917. Mary is forced to wear boys clothes and when she goes out and meets a gang of street kids, she's questioned about her masculinity and really lashes out at her tormentors.

What makes the film really standout though for me is the fantasy world that director Maurice Tourneur created as Mary is in a coma fighting for her life. Given the times the special effects cinematography was wonderful for its time. Cecil B. DeMille couldn't have done better creating a view of how a child saw the world around her and the possible paradise she could have if she quit fighting for her own life.

Great special effects and a standout performance by Mary Pickford make The Poor Little Rich Girl a classic from the days when movies had no voice.


Although it has been well documented, as to the use of taller actors, specially scaled sets, and larger props all used to help Mary Pickford appear as childlike in appearance as possible, it was Pickford herself who discovered by accident during the filming of The Poor Little Rich Girl, a new lighting technique to further enhance the little girl illusion. She describes in her autobiography of one morning while powdering her nose in the large mirror of a dresser, when a small hand mirror lying at an angle caught the glow of the early morning sunlight and reflected it flatteringly on her face. She went to the studio bursting with her discovery and immediately went to director Maurice Tourneur and asked if he would have the cameraman place one of the spotlights down low. Mr.Tourner laughed at her new idea but Mary convinced him to shoot a scene the usual way, then shoot it the way she suggested telling him then to decide for himself. The difference was so great that the use of low-lying light to reflect back into the actor's face, called ' baby spots', became standard practise in the industry. Another example of the genius of Mary Pickford and her keenness to further the advancement of cinematography. Her portrayal of Gwendolyn the neglected little rich girl, is absolutely astonishing to watch. Both Mary and Frances Marion had great fun adding comical bits to the screenplay and the merriment shows in Mary's performance. With the tremendous success of this film, Mary Pickford would comply with her fan's wishes and continue to successfully play the little girl role in several more delightful classic novels. Unfortunately, many still believe the accomplished actress only played little girls, and nothing could be further from the truth. If only one could view the entire work of Mary Pickford years before this film, her roles were filled with amazing diversity. With that being said, Pickford's film version of The Poor Little Rich Girl is a wonderfully enjoyable work of silent cinema.


The most original aspect of this film is that it translates into images the delirium of a seriously ill little girl fighting for her life. The beginning of the film is quite conventional both as regards the story, a little girl is ignored by her rich parents and bullied by the servants, and the way of filming, mostly indoor long duration wide shots with fixed camera, with some medium shots and a few close-ups. There are some slapstick gags and a funny scene when the father, remembering that, as a child, he had been dressed as a girl to punish him, decides to dress Gwen as a boy. Far from considering this as a punishment, she enjoys her boy costume and has a lot of fun having a mud fight with street boys.

The film becomes more interesting in the second half when it veers towards surrealism. It shows what Gwen is imagining, taking literally expressions that she hears, e.g. her father fighting bears, and the servants looking like their nicknames, snake in grass, double-face or big ears. It also shows the father, who has big financial worries, visualising his double taking a gun to commit suicide, with Gwen overlooking the scene.



Poor Little Rich Girl, The (1917)

*** (out of 4)

Mary Pickford, 25-years old, plays Gwen, an 11-year-old girl who has all the money in the world but she's quite unhappy. This is due to her parents not paying any attention to her and the servants pretty much push her around. The fact that she has no friends doesn't help matters but a tragic turn might be what causes everyone to realize how special she actually is. THE POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL isn't the masterpiece that some people make it out to be but it's quite an interesting little film. I think most people would go into any film with a bit of skepticism whenever you had an adult at the age of 25 playing someone that is just 11 when the movie ends. Pickford became a legend playing these young parts and she would be doing this nearly ten years later and people were still eating it up. Her performance here is certainly the main reason to watch this film because there's no doubt that you're watching a truly talented actresses doing a rather remarkable job. I was rather skeptical going into the film but it takes a matter of seconds for you to believe Pickford is this young child. I'm not sure what it was but not once did I see an adult playing a child but instead you were watching a child play the part. Pickford was just downright marvelous when it came to the facial gestures and just simple looks that you'd expect to see from a child. No matter if she was being playful or or throwing a temper tantrum, you believe it is a child. Pickford goes through a wide range of emotions and she nails all of them perfectly but my favorite has to be a rather long sequence where a new "friend" is brought to the house but the girl is a rich snob who quickly gets into a fight with Pickford. The playful but bratty way the actress plays this sequence makes for some big laughs and it's certainly the highlight of the movie. Madlaine Traverse and Charles Wellesley are both good as her parents but there's no question everything in the screenplay (by Francis Marion) is for Pickford. Director Tourneur handles the material quite well but the really highlight of his vision comes from some of the more nightmarish scenes including one where a large snake goes after the girl and another one where her father visions himself committing suicide. The film runs 65-minutes and I must admit that there were several times where I got a little bored and this is just one reason why I'd stop short of calling the film a flat out masterpiece. I thought there was a little too much "melodrama" showing how unhappy the girl was and this includes one scene where she's punished by being forced to where boys clothing. With that said, those interested in the legend of Pickford will find this film a good place to start because it shows her in the type of role people loved her for.


Gwen's family is rich, but her parents ignore her and most of the servants push her around, so she is lonely and unhappy. Her father is concerned only with making money, and her mother cares only about her social position. But one day a servant's irresponsibility creates a crisis that causes everyone to rethink what is important to them.

The film was shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey when early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based there at the beginning of the 20th century.

What is most interesting to me is that the film was directed by Maurice Tourneur. Maurice had an incredible career spanning from the earliest days up through the 1940s. And yet, I think he is not a well-known figure. His son, Jacques, is quite a bit more known due to his working with producer Val Lewton. But why has Maurice been forgotten?


Mary Pickford stars as Gwendolyn, an 11 year old who longs for the love of her wealthy parents, but has only the servants for company. Her attempts to find friendship and ease her loneliness lead to comic and touching situations. This vehicle was one of the highest grossing films of 1917 and consolidated Mary Pickford's stardom even further.

Frances Marion contributes a fine screenplay. Gwendolyn is an appealing character - she's not flawless, but she is very sympathetic. Mischievous, spunky and resourceful, yet also longing for love and tenderness, she is a memorable heroine. There are plenty of comic moments, like when Gwendolyn invites the organ grinder into the house, a mud-pie fight with neighborhood boys, her escapades in the bathroom, etc. And there are touching moments as well, such as Gwendolyn's visit to her father's office, and Gwendolyn's battle for life after an irresponsible servant gives her a poisonous sleeping medicine. A dream sequence near the end, while a bit lengthy for my taste, astutely plays on the movie's themes and shows a surreal child's-eye view of things in a delightful way.

Mary Pickford is very charming and believable. I had my reservations about watching Pickford, who was then about 24 years old, playing an 11 year old girl, but when she came on screen I was hooked right away. It's easy to see why she was such a big star - she is utterly charismatic, natural, spunky and witty, tender and moving, with a distinctive, luminous beauty. Charles Wellesley and Madlaine Traverse contribute fine support as Gwendolyn's parents. Wellesley is especially good in the scenes where he interacts with Pickford's character; he conveys a father who wants to reach out to his daughter yet is hesitant to do so. Gladys Fairbanks is fine as Jane, a domestic worker who has the unenviable job of trying to rein in the free-spirited Gwendolyn.

Maurice Tourneur, one of the most acclaimed directors of early cinema, makes this film a beautiful viewing experience. The restored copy I watched displayed beautiful tinting, moody, expressive shadows, and Tourneur's use of space to emphasize Gwendolyn's loneliness. The editing is seamless and no shots linger too long, showing the advancement that cinema had made since the beginning of the feature era five years before.

Overall, POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL is a classic of its era that has stood the test of time very well. The fine acting, beautiful cinematography, and poignant story make it worth watching. SCORE: 9/10


This Mary Pickford film is one of the few full-length movies she made that is in the public domain. However, it is very much like the sort of film she made again and again from the late 1910s through much of the 1920s. Once again, Mary plays a child—something that is cute in a few films but wears a bit thin when seen repeatedly today. Plus of all her films playing a child, this is certainly not up there with the best of them (such as "Daddy Long Legs" and "Sparrows"). First, it was a bigger stretch than usual. Instead of playing a teen like she did in many films, here she plays a girl of about 11—too big a stretch if you ask me. Second, the script is more obvious than most and lacks the subtlety of her better work.

Mary plays the title character—a rich girl who is miserable. That's because her parents are selfish jerks who have no time for her. Instead, she's left to a cruel governess and other staff who see her as a nuisance. As a result, she's starved for affection and needs her parents. You know, however, as a Mary Pickford film, that by the end she will somehow get her wish. The only suspense is how this will occur…and I must say how they arranged it was certainly original and strange! Mary is poisoned with a narcotic and is dying—during which she has some bizarre dreams reminiscent of "The Wizard of Oz" or "Alice in Wonderland"! It's all quite odd but somehow manages to result in everything being happily ever after.

The film is well made if predictable. If you are a Pickford fan like me, then by all means watch it. However, if you aren't, try watching either the two films mentioned above or some of her other great films like "Suds" or "My Best Girl" (my personal favorite). They are just more entertaining and better written. This film just seemed a bit too simplistic and ordinary compared to other Pickford films.


Observations: Masterpiece. Donkey reminding me of Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz; Mary's companions reminding me of the other travelers to Oz. Mary poisoned by servant; poppy poisoning/sleep in Wizard of Oz. Death and Life in her dream: Wicked Witch of the West plus Glinda the Good Witch. Mary choosing life over death.

Stereotypes. Rich children miserable. Poor children happy go lucky. Not always true. Father not such a genius; his money was more apparent than real. Then there was a Wall Street crash; shades of 1929. World War One was going on. This was 1917. Father should have invested his money in war materiels. Mother turned out to be very maternal.

Dancers in drug dream. White costumes; scarves. Delsarte? Isadora Duncan style? One of them does bring Mary back to reality. Thank goodness. Their dancing and costumes rather reminded me of the fairies in 1934's Midsummer Night's Dream.

Music superb. Intertitles clever and interesting. Bathroom disaster scene totally funny, costing the father tons of money that he supposedly did not have.

Organ grinder and plumber man were nice people.

Mary pulled off the child act splendidly.



'Portrait of a Lonely Rich Girl' would have been an apt title for the opening two acts, as each sequence depicts the lonely life of a ten year old girl surrounded by wealth, taut adults, and not a friend to play with. Her mother is constantly absent in social activities, and her father spends all his time at Wall street. There is nary a plot point here and each scene more or less makes the same case, but has enough variety in tone to keep things interesting, including pitiful sadness, whimsical rebellion, and cheeky mischief with a gang of poor boys from the street. The elegant visuals are excellent, as is a young Mary Pickford in the lead role, despite looking older than the 10/11 years she was supposed to be.

The final act then is something else entirely, as the poor little rich girl is accidentally given too much medicine and enters a surreal dream sequence somewhat akin to Alice going down the rabbit hole, complete with double exposure ghosts and a costumed donkey that looks as if it just walked off the set of Baum's absurdly funny 1914 fantasy 'His Majesty The Scarecrow of Oz' - an early adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz' - which no doubt took influence from this film.

All of this is based on a moral that says love is of far more importance than social appearances and material possessions, and while a strong moral, it is unfortunately reiterated at every step of the journey, from the very first scene to the very last, so it does become tiresome, continuing to hammer the wall once the nail has already been driven in. As such the film is overly long (I saw the 76 minute version), but has enough memorable scenes to make up for the drag.