Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (film)

Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (film)
Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall

Theatrical poster
Directed by Marshall Neilan
Mary Pickford (uncredited)
Produced by Mary Pickford
Written by Charles Major (novel)
Waldemar Young
Starring Mary Pickford
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) May 25, 1924
Running time 135 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles
Budget $750,000

Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall is a 1924 silent historical drama directed by Marshall Neilan. The film is based upon the 1902 novel by the same name.



Mary Pickford worked previously with director Ernst Lubitsch on the movie Rosita (1923). They were originally to make this picture together as well, but Lubitsch turned the directing assignment down. Pickford admitting wanting to work with someone else as well.[1]

Pickford desperately wanted for this film to be a success. She used a big budget and introduced several special effects. She assigned Marshall Neilan as the director. They had positive memories of working together on previous films, including Stella Maris (1918) and Daddy-Long-Legs (1919). However, they reportedly fought together a lot while working on this film. Neilan showed up on set drunk every day. Their longtime friendship was eventually destroyed.[2]


In the month of May 1550 two great houses were to be united by the betrothal of the son of Rutland and the heiress of Haddon Hall. Sir George Vernon (Anders Randolf) is forfeit to Rutland on his daughter's 18th birthday, for ten of his thirty manors lying adjacent to Rutland. His daughter Dorothy (Mary Pickford) and John Manners (Allan Forrest) are forced to marry each other on their 18th birthday, but they can't stand each other. John is in France with Mary Stuart (Estelle Taylor) and George intents to use this as a way for Dorothy to be able to marry her cousin Malcolm Vernon (Marc McDermott).

On her 18th birthday, Dorothy prepares to marry Malcolm. Malcolm comes over from Scotland for the wedding, while Dorothy has seconds thoughts about marrying someone she has never met. Meanwhile, George is demanded by the Rutland men to forfeit for Dorothy not marrying John. Dorothy is charmed when she meets Malcolm and makes sure to him she has no intention in marrying John. She doesn't know Malcolm really is John and when he reveals himself, she is shocked and insulted. She informs her father, while the real Malcolm shows up as well. Dorothy has to point out John, but fears John will be killed and points out Malcolm. John has the time to run away, while Malcolm is revealed to not be John.

Meanwhile, Mary Stuart is ordered to come to England immediately when her ring is found. John is the one who has to get her from Scotland, but is afraid Queen Elizabeth will find out. Dorothy has secretly fallen in love with John and meets him several times in the forest and at the castle in disguise. Dorothy tells him she wants for them to elope, but John convinces her to wait for the right time. When George catches Dorothy and John together, he is outraged. Malcolm comes in to kill John, but Dorothy stops him and John flees.

Dorothy keeps on seeing John, while her wedding to Malcolm keeps on getting closer. John has just taken Mary into his home for refuge. George has become very wealthy and even invites Queen Elizabeh (Clare Eames) for the wedding. Queen Elizabeth accepts, but orders everyone who assists Mary to be beheaded. Dorothy, meanwhile, feels she is a prisoner in her own home and writes John a letter about wanting to elope with him. George gets his hands on the letter and orders John to be hanged. She attempts to escape, but gets caught and imprisoned.

Dorothy agrees to marry Malcolm if John won't be hanged. She didn't know John was actually never captured and that George lied to trick her into marrying Malcolm. On her wedding day, Dorothy finds out her father lied to her about hanging John and seeks revenge. She orders her maid Jennie (Lottie Pickford) to pursue John to rescue Dorothy. When Jennie arrives at the Rutland Castle, she catches Mary in John's arms and hurries back to Haddon Hall to tell Dorothy the truth. Dorothy is outraged and informs Queen Elizabeth about Mary's whereabouts. Queen Elizabeth announces she will behead the earl of Rutland and John for treason and orders Malcolm and his troops to arrest him. Dorothy immediately feels sorry for John, but isn't able to stop the queen.

Dorothy rushed to the Rutland Castle, but isn't able to leave Haddon Hall as the gates are closed. Dorothy is able to escape over the walls and is the first one to arrive at Rutland Castle. She warns Mary and finds out John is on his way to Haddon Hall. Dorothy tries to save Mary by dressing up like her. The troops mistake Dorothy for Mary and take her to the queen. Here, Dorothy reveals herself. Queen Elizabeth feels betrayed and demands for Dorothy to be taken away to jail. John comes to rescue her, but Queen Elizabeth catches them. She decides to release Dorothy and send John away to Wales for one year.

When Dorothy is informed Malcolm and his troops intend to murder Queen Elizabeth, she and John try to save her. This results into Malcolm and John getting into a sword fight. John eventually kills Malcolm and is reunited with Dorothy.


See also


  1. ^ The New York Times Review
  2. ^ Whitfield, Eileen: Pickford: the Woman Who Made Hollywood ISBN 0-8131-2045-4

External links

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