AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Summary View of Movie
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
The Little American
Director: Cecil B. DeMille (Dir)
Release Date:   2 Jul 1917
Print this page
Display Movie Detail

Available Formats
Grapevine DVD VHS LaserDisk
Movies Unlimited DVD VHS LaserDisk
Nostalgia Family Video DVD VHS LaserDisk
Videobrary DVD VHS LaserDisk

Cast: Mary Pickford  (Angela More)
  James Neill  (Senator John More)
  Ben Alexander  (Bobby More)

Summary: Karl Von Austreim, a German-American living in the United States, bids farewell to his sweetheart, Angela Moore, and returns to Germany at the outbreak of World War I to fight for his native country. Count Jules de Destin of the French embassy, a rival for Angela's hand, also leaves, and shortly afterwards, Angela is called to France to care for her dying aunt. Her ship, the Veritania , is torpedoed, but she is rescued and finally arrives in France to find her aunt dead and the old chateau converted into a hospital. Having angrily forsaken her position of American neutrality, Angela agrees to conceal a telephone by which she may contact the retreating French, and after the Germans arrive, she begins sending messages to the Allies. Karl, transformed by the war, attacks Angela in the dark, but when the German colonel orders her to be shot as a spy, her former lover denounces the Kaiser and joins her before the firing squad. An attack by the French saves them, and they escape to a church, where Jules, as a reward for Angela's bravery, gives Karl his freedom and grants them both safe passage to America. 

Distribution Company: Artcraft Pictures Corp.
Production Company: Mary Pickford Film Corp.
Director: Cecil B. DeMille (Dir)
  Charles Whittaker (Asst dir)
  Walter N. Sherer (Asst dir)
  Cullen B. "Hezie" Tate (Asst dir)
Writer: Jeanie Macpherson (Original story and scen)

Subject Major: France
  World War I
Subject Minor: Americans in foreign countries
  Firing squads
  German Americans
  Germany. Army
  Sea rescues

Display Movie Detail
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Limited To:
Video Availability
Advanced Search
Join AFI
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2016 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.