Dangerous Innocence

Dangerous Innocence

theatrical poster
Directed by William A. Seiter
Produced by Carl Laemmle
Written by Lewis Milestone
James O. Spearing
Based on Ann's an Idiot
by Pamela Wynne
Starring Laura La Plante
Eugene O'Brien
Jean Hersholt
Alfred Allen
Cinematography Richard Fryer
Merritt B. Gerstad
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • April 12, 1925 (1925-04-12)
Running time
70 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent
English intertitles

Dangerous Innocence was a 1925 American silent romantic comedy/drama film written by Lewis Milestone and James O. Spearing based upon the novel Ann's an Idiot by Pamela Wynne. Directed by William A. Seiter for Universal Pictures, the film starred Laura La Plante and Eugene O'Brien.[1] The film's status is currently unknown, any copies of this film exist,[2] and it is now considered lost.[3]


On a ship sailing from England to India, Ann Church (Laura La Plante) meets young and dashing Major Anthony Seymour (Eugene O'Brien), falls in love and makes some innocent advances to gain his attentions. Ann is 19, but looks 15. The Major at first resists her advances because he believes she is that young, and later he holds back after learning that Ann's mother Muriel (Hedda Hopper) was a former girlfriend of his. Another passenger, Gilchrist (Jean Hersholt) who is a cad, takes advantage of Ann's naiveté and places her in a compromising position. To save her reputation, the Major proposes to Ann and she accepts. When they arrive in Bombay, Gilchrist gets even by telling Ann that the Major had had an affair with her mother, causing Ann to break the engagement. Angry, the Major follows Gilchrist off ship and thrashes him. As she prepares to return alonne to England, the Major forces Gilchrist to admit to Ann that the relationship between the Major and Ann's mother was platonic and never romantic. The young couple reunite and are later married at sea.



The New York Times writes that the subject of shipboard romances are "invariably appealing, especially when the heroine has youth and beauty and the hero is a British Major clad in a faultlessly cut uniform", offering that the film begins well and slackens at the end only because the heroine "is just a little bit too credulous, even for a girl who is much in love." They offer that viewers are apt to think of the Rudyard Kipling poem An Unknown Goddess, because La Plante's character of Ann is younger than she appears and Eugene O'Brien's character of Major Anthony Seymour initially takes only a paternal interest in someone he believes a child. When he realizes her age his intentions turn affectionate, but become complicated when he learns that Ann is the daughter of an old sweetheart. They praise director William A. Seiter, writing that he "shows originality and imagination in his direction of a number of scenes." They also share that "Laura La Plante is quite effective as Ann", and that Eugene O'Brien "acts the role of Seymour with sincerity and restraint." They conclude that the film "is a photoplay which can be enjoyed because of the appealing love story and the pains taken by the producers to give an idea of the background, both aboard ship and in India."[4]


  1. White Munden, Kenneth, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog Of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1921-1930, Part 1. University of California Press. p. 167. ISBN 0-520-20969-9.
  2. "Dangerous Innocence (1925)". silentera.com. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  3. Arne Andresen. "The Lost Films of Universal Pictures, 1925". silentsaregolden.com. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  4. Mordaunt Hall (June 8, 1925). "The Screen: I'll Show You the Town & Dangerous Innocence". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2011.

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