AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Suds
Alternate Title: The Duchess of Suds
Director: Jack Dillon (Dir)
Release Date:   27 Jun 1920
Duration (in reels):   5-6
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Cast:   Mary Pickford (Amanda Afflick)  
    Albert Austin (Horace Greensmith)  
    Harold Goodwin (Benjamin Pillsbury)  
    Rose Dione (Mme. Jeanne Gallifilet)  
    Nadyne Montgomery    
    Darwin Karr    
    Hal Wilson    

Summary: Amanda Afflick, a laundress with a romantic imagination, weaves a story about a shirt brought to the laundry eight months earlier by Horace Greensmith. She tells her fellow workers that the shirt belongs to her fiancĂ©, Sir Horace, to whom her father objected and expelled from their castle, but who will one day return. While waiting for her lord, Amanda saves Lavender, the old laundry horse, from the glue factory and takes her home with her but is ousted the following morning by indignant tenants. Luckily, Lady Burke, a philanthropist, comes to Lavender's aid by providing her a home on the Burke country estate. Although the laundry driver Ben Pillsbury pines for Amanda, she ignores him, preferring to wait instead for Lord Horace. When Greensmith finally arrives for his shirt, Amanda pleads with him to pretend that he is her lover and he agrees, but later, realizing how shabby she looks, he discards her. He leaves Amanda, her romantic dreams shattered, sobbing, while Ben waits outside the laundry, disconsolate. 

Production Company: Mary Pickford Co.  
Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.  
Director: Jack Dillon (Dir)
  William A. Crinley (Asst dir)
Writer: Waldemar Young (Scen)
Photography: Charles Rosher (Cam)
  L. W. O'Connell (Cam)
Art Direction: Max Parker (Art dir)
Costumes: Adele Crinley (Cost)
Production Misc: Albert Werker (Props)
  William Johnson (Elec eff)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs:
Source Text: Based on the play Op O' Me Thumb by Frederick Fenn and Richard Pryce (New York, 6 Feb 1905).
Authors: Richard Pryce
  Frederick Fenn

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Mary Pickford Co. 15/6/1920 dd/mm/yyyy LP15295

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Comedy-drama
 
Subjects (Major): Class distinction
  Laundresses
  Social climbers
  Storytellers
 
Subjects (Minor): Horses
  Nobility
  Philanthropists

Note: The working titles for the film were The Duchess of Suds and Op O' Me Thumb . Three cameras were used in the shooting of this production, which was awarded the Board of Merit of the Motion Picture Theatrical Association's first seal of approval. Contemporary sources state that the harsh conclusion generated such widespread criticism that a second, happy ending was filmed in which Amanda lives happily on Lady Burke's estate with Lavender and Ben. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   10 Jul 20   p. 627.
MPN   24 Jan 20   p. 559.
MPN   3 Apr 20   p. 3325.
MPN   1 May 20   p. 3849.
MPN   19 Jun 20   p. 4944.
MPN   10 Jul 20   p. 511.
MPN   17 Jul 20   p. 528.
New York Morning Telegraph   4 Jul 1920.   
New York Times   28 Jun 20   p. 13.
Variety   2 Jul 20   p. 27, 28.
Wid's   4 Jul 20   p. 5.

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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.
 
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