Silent Feature: The Little American


Studio: Mary Pickford Corporation
An Artcraft Picture
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Released: July 1917

Featured Cast: Mary Pickford, Jack Holt

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriter: Jeanie Macpherson
Art director: Wilfred Buckland
Cinematographer: Alvin Wyckoff
Editor: Cecil B. DeMille


When an American girl is pulled into the Great War, she sees that her fiancée has become a German officer.


“As a patriotic spectacle and as an ideal Pickford vehicle, The Little American is superb. When Angela Moore, the Little American, announces that she has quit being neutral and has turned human, then came the time for loud applause.”

– Peter Milne in The Motion Picture News, Vol. 16, No. 3 (July 21, 1917)

Letters From Regional Theater Owners

“Played this picture in October. Poor business. Repeated it on July 4 to splendid business. Patrons said it was a wonderful production. Photography exceptionally good.”

– M.C. Kellogg, Homestake Theatre, Lead, South Dakota, Exhibitors Herald, Vol. VIII, No. 5 (July 27, 1918)

Artist Comment

“When we did The Little American, about the sinking of the Lusitania, I had to flounder in the ocean at San Pedro. In those days I couldn’t swim more than two or three feet—but I did the scene. I tell you, that was some experience. It gets very cold at night in California, and I was wearing only an evening dress. I was frozen.”

– Mary Pickford in Kevin Brownlow, The Parade’s Gone By


The Little American cost $166,949.16 and grossed $446,236.88.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)