Synopsis by Janiss Garza
For her first United Artists release, silent superstar Mary Pickford decided to play it safe, even though it galled her to do so. There are few characters she hated more than Pollyanna, the "glad girl," but she knew that her fans would show up in droves to see this picture, which was based on Eleanor Porter's novel. So she gritted her teeth, and at the worldly age of 27, dove into the role of the eternally cheerful 12-year-old orphan girl. After the death of her father (J. Wharton James), Pollyanna goes to live with her crotchety aunt Polly Harrington (Katherine Griffith). Her father taught her to be happy at all times, and Pollyanna spreads this saccharine philosophy throughout the New England village where she now lives. The richest man in town adores little Pollyanna, and obligingly adopts the girl's favorite playmate, a little orphan boy. Even when Pollyanna is hurt while saving a child from an onrushing car, her happy demeanor never fades. The doctor (Herbert Prior) who attends her is her maiden aunt's old suitor, and they are brought together once more as Pollyanna learns how to walk again. Pickford's favorite scene was the one moment when Pollyanna gives full reign to out-and-out naughtiness. Pollyanna captures a fly and sweetly asks it if it would like to go to heaven. Assuming the answer to be yes, she smashes the insect and beams, "Well, you have!" Incidentally, this scene was not in the Porter book; most likely it came straight from the star's active mind. This picture was one of Pickford's out-and-out blockbuster successes.
accident, adoption, bitterness, break-up [romantic], cure, doctor/nurse, friendship, optimism, orphan, Pollyanna, reconciliation, rescue, sentimental, silence