"The New York Hat" was a 1912 silent film directed by D W Griffith during his early years working for the Biograph Studio. It has many of Griffith's stock players in it. The main roles are played by Lionel Barrymore as the pastor and Mary Pickford as the girl.
The movie opens with the death of the poor girl's mother. She bequeths a small sum to the pastor to buy her child clothes and other necessities, on the condition that no one knows it is from her.The pastor happens upon the girl at the shop window displaying a nice ("new york") hat. He buys it for her. She is delighted. The gossipy society women are agast. Her father, enraged at the thought of a possible scandal, ripped apart her hat in front of her. She is crushed. The pastor produces a letter from the deceased mother, and when the truth comes out all is forgiven. The pastor asks the girl to be his wife. She accepts and lives happily ever after.
The script was written by the screenplay pioneer Anita Loos (author of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and dozens of other stories made into films, as well as many books on writing and life in Hollywood). It is a gentle story with a clear moral, but the real protagonist is the hat.
The film is in the public domain in the US.
(available in the US)
* oocities.org/emruf1/nyhat.html (script)
Directed by D.W. Griffith
Produced by Biograph
Written by Anita Loos, Frances Marion
Mary Pickford ... Miss Mollie Harding (the girl)
Charles Hill Mailes ... Mr. Harding (her father)
Kate Bruce ... Mrs. Harding (her mother)
Lionel Barrymore ... Preacher Bolton (minister)
Alfred Paget ... The Doctor
Claire McDowell ... First Gossip
Mae Marsh ... Second Gossip
Clara T. Bracy ... Third Gossip
Madge Kirby ... Shopkeeper/At Mother's Deathbed
Lillian Gish ... Customer in Shop/Outside Church
editing by me using fcpx
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