Little Orphant Annie (1918) Colleen Moore, Thomas Santschi, Lafe McKee. Annie, an imaginative young orphan girl (Moore) is sent to live with her abusive uncle, who then sends her to live with another family. She is smitten with love for a farmer (Santschi) who intervenes on her behalf, stopping the abuse. Along the way, we are treated to see Annie’s fantasies as she imparts moral lessons on other orphans and on the children of her new family. Goblins run out of the screen, nasty boys are kidnapped by huge bats or dumped by witches in steaming cauldrons. This is one of those films that everyone has seen, but never in a good print. The 2016 restoration reinstates about 5 minutes to the film, plus it recreates the elaborate tinting that was only seen in the 35mm nitrate prints. It was made up of five different prints, including parts of a deteriorating nitrate and several 16mm prints. The prints don’t always match flawlessly… and they can’t, but this film is a highly unusual delight for silent film fans… and it’s the oldest surviving film starring Colleen Moore.
SPECIAL FEATURES Commentary by Jeff Codori, Colleen Moore’s biographer, on Moore and the history of the film.
Commentary by Eric Grayson and Glory-June Greiff on the restoration and the background of poet James Whitcomb Riley.
Interview with Eric Grayson at the premiere of the restoration.
Glory-June Greiff reads Little Orphant Annie and excerpts from Where is Mary Alice Smith?, both of which are referenced in the film.
Slick 16-page booklet with pictures and more background information on the film. Both DVD and Blu-ray versions are included in the same package.