|Polly with a Past|
|Directed by||Leander de Cordova|
|Produced by||Maxwell Karger|
|Based on||Polly With a Past|
by Guy Bolton and George Middleton
|Distributed by||Metro Pictures|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
Polly with a Past is a 1920 American silent drama film produced and distributed by Metro Pictures and directed by Leander de Cordova. Based on a 1917 Broadway stage play of the same name, the film starred Ina Claire, reprising her stage role in the title role of Polly. Clifton Webb had an early unbilled screen appearance in this film.
Minister's daughter Polly Shannon (Ina Claire), in order to earn money go to Paris and study opera, takes a job as a maid for Clay Cullum (Harry Benham) and Harry Richardson (Clifton Webb). Cullum and Richardson are friends with shy Rex Van Zile (Ralph Graves), whose love for do-gooder Myrtle Davis (Louiszita Valentine) is unrequited. The three friends and Polly come up with a scheme to get Myrtle to notice Rex. Polly poses as a French adventuress "with a past" who pursues Rex. Their plan is to inspire Myrtle to save Rex from the bad woman.
Complications ensue, and in the end Rex and Polly fall in love.
- Ina Claire as Polly Shannon
- Ralph Graves as Rex Van Zile
- Marie Wainwright as Mrs. Van Zile
- Harry Benham as Clay Cullum
- Clifton Webb as Harry Richardson
- Louiszita Valentine as Myrtle Davis
- Myra Brooks as the cook
- Frank Currier
In December 1919, Metro acquired the play Polly With a Past (1917) from Guy Bolton and George Middleton for $75,000, reputedly the highest price paid for a stage story to that time. Its purchase reflected Metro's efforts to obtain stories that were already well-known and popular. From the start, Ina Claire, who had played Polly on the stage, was intended to star in the film version.
June Mathis began work on the script in June 1920. Location scouting trips to Long Island were reported in August. Interiors were filmed at the Metro studios in New York; two Long Island estates provided exteriors. By the end of September shooting was finished.
- "Polly With a Past". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
- Carl Bennett (ed.). "Polly With a Past". Progressive Silent Film List. Retrieved October 8, 2015 – via Silent Era.
- David Pierce. "Polly with a Past". American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog. The Library of Congress. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
- For acquisition and Claire's role, see: "News of the Week in Headlines". Wid's Daily. December 21, 1919. p. 1. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
For purchase price: "News of the Film World". Moving Pictures. Variety. January 2, 1920. p. 77. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
For purchase philosophy: "The Average Must Be Superlative". Motion Picture News. April 24, 1920. p. 3701. Retrieved October 8, 2015. All via Internet Archive.
- For script, see: J.C. Jessen (June 26, 1920). "News Notes From the West Coast". Motion Picture News. p. 109. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
For scouting: "Cuts and Flashes". Wid's Daily. August 28, 1920. p. 4. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
Interior filming: "New 'Set' System Started". Motion Picture News. September 4, 1920. p. 1896. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
Exterior filming: "Live Notes From the Studios". Motion Picture News. September 11, 1920. p. 2092. and "Ina Claire and 'Polly' Company on Location". Motion Picture News. September 25, 1920. p. 2433. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
For filming completion: "Cuts and Flashes". Wid's Daily. September 28, 1920. p. 2. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polly with a Past.|
- Polly With a Past at AllMovie
- Polly With a Past at IMDb
- "Ina Claire, a Real New Star for the Screen" December 12, 1921, review in Wid's Daily, via Internet Archive
- "Ina Claire Films Her Famous Comedy for Metro" December 25, 1921, review in the Dramatic Mirror & Theatre, via Fulton History
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