Fairy and the Waif (1915)

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This winsome little feature was the screen debut of 12-year-old Mary Miles Minter. Viola Drayton (Minter) has a fascination for fairies, but real life intervenes when her father, a colonel (W.T. Carleton), is called off to the European War (that's what they called World War I in early 1915). He leaves Viola in the care of the Nevisons (Herbert Wilke and Ina Brookes) and gives them thirty thousand dollars to invest on her behalf. When word arrives that Drayton has been killed in battle, Mr. Nevison takes Viola's money for himself, but he squanders it and his wife has to take in boarders. Viola hates her life at the Nevisons so she runs away and gets a job at a theater playing...a fairy. But she's not happy at the theater either and leaves, still in her fairly costume. She meets a waif (Percy Helton) who mistakes her for a real fairy. Meanwhile, it turns out that Colonel Drayton is alive and when he gets back to New York he offers a reward for his daughter's return. A policeman recognizes Viola and reunites her with the colonel.