Ella Cinders (film)

Ella Cinders
Directed by Alfred E. Green
Produced by John McCormick
Written by Frank Griffin (scenario)
Mervyn LeRoy (scenario)
George Marion, Jr. (titles)
Story by Frank Griffin
Mervyn LeRoy
Based on Ella Cinders
by William M. Conselman and Charles Plumb
Starring Colleen Moore
Lloyd Hughes
Cinematography Arthur Martinelli
Edited by Robert Kern
John McCormick Productions
Distributed by First National Pictures
Release dates
  • June 6, 1926 (1926-06-06)
Country United States
Language Silent
English intertitles

Ella Cinders is a 1926 American silent comedy film directed by Alfred E. Green, starring Colleen Moore, produced by her husband John McCormick (1893-1961), and co-starring Moore's most popular co-star, Lloyd Hughes. The film is based on the syndicated comic strip of the same name by William M. Conselman and Charles Plumb.

In 2013, Ella Cinders was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[1]


In the house of late father, Ella Cinders (Colleen Moore) works for her stepmother and two stepsisters, Prissy Pill (Emily Gerdes) and Lotta Pill (Doris Baker), finding support from the local iceman, Waite Lifter (Lloyd Hughes). The Gem Film Company has a contest in which the winner gets an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood and a film role. A photograph is needed to enter, so Ella spends three nights babysitting to raise $3 for the photo session.

However, the photographer unwittingly take a picture of her looking cross-eyed at a fly on her nose which turns out to be the photo entered in the contest. Entrants must go to a Town Hall ball, but Ella's stepmother and stepsisters won't allow her to go. Waite sees her crying on the front steps and tells her he will take her to the ball. She says she has nothing to wear, so he convinces her to use one of her stepsisters' dresses. At the judges' table, her stepsisters react violently when they see the dress. The embarrassed Ella flees the ball, losing one of her slippers.

Later, the judges come to the house and tell Ella that she is the winner because they were amused by the cross-eyed photo. Ella heads for Hollywood, where she is disappointed to discover the contest was a fraud. She nevertheless manages to land a movie contract. Waite turns out to be football hero George Waite, and the two are reunited.


Production background

Portions of the film take place on the sets of a movie studio, and so many regulars at First National Studios appear in the film. The film's director, Alfred E. Green, appears in the film as the director of the film being shot as Ella runs through the studio. Harry Langdon also makes a cameo in the film as a famous film comedian.

Status and home media

Copies of Ella Cinders are preserved at the UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Library of Congress.[2]

Ella Cinders is currently held in the public domain.[3] It has since been released on DVD by Sunrise Silents, Reel Classic DVD, Reel Classic DVD, and Grapevine Video.[4]


  1. "Library of Congress announces 2013 National Film Registry selections" (Press release). Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  2. Ella Cinders at silentera.com
  3. Codori, Jeff (February 28, 2012). Colleen Moore: A Biography of the Silent Film Star. McFarland. p. 251. ISBN 0-786-48899-9. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  4. Ella Cinders DVD release info at silentera.com

External links

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