Little Pal (1915)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 55 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Despite having been written by her trusted friends, Marshall Neilan and Frances Marion, this melodrama set in Alaska emerged as one of Mary Pickford's few failures. She played Little Pal, a half-breed Eskimo girl whose prospector father loses his life to the brutal Black Brand (Joseph Manning). Black Brand wants to possess the girl, and she seeks refuge with a handsome but ailing Easterner (George Anderson). Naturally, they fall in (platonic) love, but the Easterner already has a wife (Constance Johnson) who arrives to bring her husband back to civilization. He cannot afford to go, but Little Pal, out of sheer love and devotion, steals some gold dust from a rival claim in order to provide him with travel money. Black Brand is suspected of the theft and shot, while Little Pal can only watch as her beloved departs with his wife. In the original script, Little Pal commits suicide, but apparently the producers, Famous Players-Lasky, tagged on a happy ending in which Little Pal finds romance with an old chum, Cultus (Bert Hadley). Both contemporary and modern critics dismiss the film in general and Pickford's unusually lifeless portrayal in particular.



crime, Eskimo, half-breed, love, platonic, wife