Pegeen (1920)

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This picture, based on the novel by Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd, gave Bessie Love a role so close to Pollyanna that both Eleanor Porter (Pollyanna's author) and Mary Pickford (who portrayed the "Glad Girl" in a film released around the same time as this one) could have sued for royalties. This particular ray of sunshine is named Pegeen, or "Peg" for short. Her mother is dead, and her father, Dan O'Neill (George Stanley), has gone insane with grief. He starts setting fires in barns near their home in Happy Valley, but suspicion falls on chicken thief Ezra Watts (Major McGuire). O'Neill vanishes and Peg goes to live with Nora Moran (Ruth Fuller Golden), who is almost as Pollyanna-like as she. This doesn't stop New York artist John Archibald (Edward Burns) from falling for Nora, but unfortunately she is already promised to another man. After yet another fire, a mob of masked villagers descend on Watts' shack. Peg shows up and finds her father there, dying of a gunshot wound. The villagers set fire to the shack and Peg, who stays by her father's side, is saved at the last moment. Nora's fiancé is gentleman enough to let her and Archibald pursue their romance, while Peg is happy with her own sweetheart, Jimmie (Charles Spere).