November 5, 2014, 6:30 p.m. — Miles of Smiles (1923), The Family Secret (1924)
The Family Secret
1924. USA. Directed by William A. Seiter. Screenplay by Lois Zellner, based on a story by Frances Hodgson Burnett. With Baby Peggy Montgomery (Diana Serra Cary), Gladys Hulette, Edward Earle. Adapted from a children’s book by Burnett (The Little Princess, The Secret Garden), this 1924 feature was a vehicle for the child star Baby Peggy, who, as Diana Serra Carey, remains very much with us today at the age of 95. A typical Burnett tale of a traumatic childhood leading to a compensatory discovery of independence and imagination, the material makes a surprisingly good fit for its young director, Seiter, who would go on to become one of Hollywood’s most accomplished directors of character comedy (Sing and Like It, If You Could Only Cook). Preserved by The Library of Congress; courtesy Universal Pictures.