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A Girl of Yesterday

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A Girl of Yesterday
A Girl of Yesterday (1915, poster).jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byAllan Dwan
Written byMary Pickford (scenario)
Frances Marion (screenplay)
Story byWesley C. MacDermott
Produced byDaniel Frohman
Adolph Zukor
StarringMary Pickford
Frances Marion
Jack Pickford
Marshall Neilan
Famous Players Film Co.
Distributed byFamous Players-Lasky
Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 7, 1915 (1915-10-07)
Running time
Five reels length[1]
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

A Girl of Yesterday is a 1915 American silent comedy film directed by Allan Dwan, and distributed by Paramount Pictures and Famous Players-Lasky. The film starred Mary Pickford (who also wrote the scenario) as an older woman. Before this film, Pickford was mainly cast in "little girl" roles which were popular with the public.[2] A Girl of Yesterday costarred Pickford's younger brother Jack, Marshall Neilan, Donald Crisp and Frances Marion, who later became a prolific screenwriter. Real life aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin also made a cameo in the film.[3]


Jane Stuart (Mary Pickford), a sweet old-fashioned girl brought up with her brother John (Jack Pickford), by their poor Aunt Angela (Gertrude Norman), suddenly inherits wealth. While she tries to retain her traditional wardrobe, customs and ways, her brother likes the attention that is now being paid to them by people like their neighbours, the Monroes (Donald Crisp), (Lillian Langdon), who previously shunned them.

Rosanna Danford (Frances Marion), is “the wicked sophisticate” who has her eye on Stanley Hudson (Marshall Neilan), Mary's beau. At her first reception, Jane, now wealthy, is still wearing her grandmother's old-fashioned gown. She, however, is dressed more demurely compared to the other girls at the event and attracts a group of male admirers.

Jane later tries to fit in with a new crowd, and attempts tennis and golf. She accepts an invitation to go yachting from Stanley, who, hoping to win Jane, has attempted to introduce her to a new luxurious life. Rosanna is jealous and arranges for an pilot to take Jane flying, planning that she will miss the outing and be far away from Stanley. Jane is "kidnapped" and taken away by an aircraft.

Although a misunderstanding follows, Jane later accepts Stanley's belated proposal.


  • Promotional still
    Promotional still
  • Kenneth Douglas,[N 1] aviator Glenn Martin, and Mary Pickford
    Kenneth Douglas,[N 1] aviator Glenn Martin, and Mary Pickford


The flying scene in A Girl of Yesterday where Mary Pickford is taken away by an aircraft, was filmed in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California. When Mary and Jack Pickford, appeared in roles as brother and sister in this film, it was the first time actual brother and sister were cast.

A Girl of Yesterday was notable for the screen debut of famous pioneering aviator Glenn Martin.[5] He flew a Martin TT biplane, one of his own designs at Griffith Park, where he operated a flying school.[6] In 1912, Martin built an airplane factory in Los Angeles. To finance this business, he began stunt-flying at fairs and local airfields. In 1915, Martin saw an advertisement for a pilot/aircraft owner to play a role in a film. Sensing an opportunity, he replied to the ad and got the part. Martin would play the role of a dashing hero in A Girl of Yesterday starring Mary Pickford. [N 2]

The multimillion-dollar yacht that Mary Pickford and Marshall Neilan use on a date, belonged to "Sugar King" John D. Spreckels of San Francisco.[8]


Resident Scholar Cari Beauchamp in writing at the "Mary Pickford Foundation", described the loss of A Girl of Yesterday as particularly poignant. " of her “lost” films – 'A Girl of Yesterday' from 1915 – that is particularly missed because there were so many things about it that made it special." The film brought together many old friends. "Mickey Neilan, a friend of Jack Pickford’s who had been working in films for several years, but wanted to direct. (Many filmographies credit Mary with writing the story, but in his memoirs, Mickey Neilan claims that Frances [Marion] wrote it)."[9] Further, "All those close inner connections simmering in the cast and crew could have wreaked havoc, but everyone involved seemed to enjoy each other and [Allan] Dwan was secure enough in his own abilities to include others in the creative process."[9]

The beautiful locales such as Santa Catalina Island were also featured in A Girl of Yesterday. "In part it is the thought of seeing all these locations circa 1915 that makes the loss of 'A Girl of Yesterday' such a heartbreak for film fans. Of course it would also be great fun to see Jack Pickford, Mary Pickford, Mickey Neilan and Frances Marion all together on the screen, knowing as we do that Mary, Mickey and Frances would work together often in the years ahead and be lifelong friends."[9]

Preservation status

The film is now presumed to be a lost film.[10][11]

See also



  1. ^ Pickford includes this photo in her book, Sunshine and Shadow. She states it is supporting player Kenneth Douglas – the man in the photo certainly is not Donald Crisp.[4]
  2. ^ Martin soon found that it would be harder than he thought. In addition to flying Pickford around in his aircraft, he had a scene where he had to kiss Frances Marion. In describing his hesitation having to kiss Marion, Martin declared, "my mother would not like it", which astounded Pickford. after persuasion by Paramount boss Adolph Zukor, he worked up his courage, however, and completed the scene.[7]


  1. ^ "Original print information: 'A Girl of Yesterday' (1915)." TCM, 2019. Retrieved: June 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Brownlow 1968, p. 120.
  3. ^ Beauchamp 1998, p. 441.
  4. ^ Pickford 1955, pp. 96, 97.
  5. ^ Farmer 1984, p. 311.
  6. ^ Wynne 1987, p. 2.
  7. ^ Law, Aline. "Glenn L. Martin." Baltimore Sun, April 13, 1947.
  8. ^ "Notes: 'A Girl of Yesterday'." TCM, 2018. Retrieved: June 14, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Beauchamp, Cari. "A Girl of Yesterday.", 2019. Retrieved: June 14, 2019.
  10. ^ Bennett, Carl. Data: 'A Girl of Yesterday'." silentera database, February 6, 2009. Retrieved: June 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Tarbox 1983, p. 245.


  • Beauchamp, Cari. Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1998. ISBN 0-520-92138-0.
  • Brownlow, Kevin. The Parade's Gone By... Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1968 ISBN 0-520-03068-0.
  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation (1st ed.). Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: TAB Books 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Pickford, Mary. Sunshine and Shadow. New York: Doubleday, 1955. ISBN 978-0-80957-595-4.
  • Tarbox, Charles H. Lost Films, 1895-1917. Los Angeles, California: Film Classic Exchange, 1983. ISBN 978-0-96109-160-6.
  • Wynne, H. Hugh. The Motion Picture Stunt Pilots and Hollywood's Classic Aviation Movies. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1987. ISBN 978-0-93312-685-5.
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A Girl of Yesterday
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