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Ella Cinders

1926

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".

Plot
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 takes 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.

Cast
Colleen Moore - Ella Cinders
Lloyd Hughes - Waite Lifter
Vera Lewis - Ma Cinders
Doris Baker - Lotta Pill
Emily Gerdes - Prissy Pill
Mike Donlin - Film Studio Gateman
Jed Prouty - Mayor
Jack Duffy - Fire Chief
Harry Allen - Photographer
Alfred E. Green - Director
D'Arcy Corrigan - Editor
E.H. Calvert - Studio Actor (uncredited)
Russell Hopton - Studio Actor (uncredited)
Harry Langdon - Harry Langdon (uncredited)
Chief Yowlachie - Indian (uncredited)

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.

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