AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Poor Little Peppina
Alternate Title: Little Peppina
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Release Date:   20 Feb 1916
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Mary Pickford (Peppina)  
    Eugene O'Brien (Hugh Carroll)  
    Antonio Maiori (Soldo)  
    Ernesto Torti (Pietro)  
    Edwin Mordant (Robert Torrens)  
    Jack Pickford (Beppo)  
    Edith Shayne (Mrs. Torrens)  
    Cesare Gravina (Villato)  
    W. T. Carleton (The detective chief)  
    N. Cervi (Dominica)  
    Mrs. A. Maiori (Bianca)  
    Francesca Guerra (The stoker)  

Summary: Holding a grudge against Robert Torrens and his wife, who live in Italy, a member of the Mafia kidnaps their infant daughter Lois. Fifteen years later, after having been raised by Italian peasants, Lois, now called Peppina, dresses as a boy and stows away on a ship to America in order to avoid a marriage to a particularly loathsome count. While aboard ship she befriends Hugh Carroll, an assistant district attorney, who arranges first-class transportation for the "boy." In New York, she once again meets her kidnapper, who fled to America after the crime. He forces Peppina to maintain the masculine disguise and to pass counterfeit bills for him, for which she is arrested. Peppina gladly exposes the kidnapper's operation to the authorities, one of whom, Hugh, recognizes her as the "boy" he met on the ship. Then, once the kidnapper has been apprehended, Peppina is reunited with her parents, after which she and Hugh, who has finally discovered that she is female, get married. 

Production Company: Famous Players-Mary Pickford Co.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Writer: Kate Jordan (Story)
Country: United States

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Counterfeiters and counterfeiting
  District attorneys
  Italians
  Italy
  Kidnapping
  Mafia
  Male impersonation
  Peasantry
 
Subjects (Minor): Infants
  New York City
  Nobility
  Revenge
  Stowaways

Note: This film was the first production of the Famous Players-Mary Pickford Co., the productions of which the actress retained one-half interest. The film began a special release in several large cities on 20 Feb 1916, and then went into general release on 2 Mar 1916. MPW reports that the film was to be cut from seven reels to five for its general release. The film was also called Little Peppina

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Motog   4 Mar 16   p. 531.
MPN   12 Feb 16   p. 826.
MPN   4 Mar 16   p. 1317.
MPW   4 Mar 16   p. 1491.
NYDM   5 Feb 16   p. 23.
NYDM   26 Feb 16   p. 24.
NYDM   4 Mar 16   p. 28.
New York Times   21 Feb 16   p. 9.
Variety   25 Feb 16   p. 22.

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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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