The New York Hat

The New York Hat

Filming date: finished November 1912 
Filming location: East Coast 
Release date, 5 December 1912; reissued by Biograph, 6 November 1916 
Release length: 999 feet 
Copyright date: 5 December 1912
 
Director: D.W. Griffith 
Author: Anita Loos 
Camera: G.W. Bitzer 
Cast: Mary Pickford (Young woman); Charles Hill Mailes (Her father); Kate 
Bruce (Her mother); Lionel Barrymore (Minister); Alfred Paget (Doctor); Claire 
McDowell, Mae Marsh, Clara T. Bracey (Gossips); Madge Kirby (Shopkeeper); 
Lillian Gish, Gertrude Bambrick, W.C. Robinson (In shop); Jack Pickford, 
Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Gertrude Bambrick (Outside church); Walter P. 
Lewis, John T. Dillon, Adolph Lestina (Church board); Madge Kirby (At mother's 
deathbed); Kathleen Butler, Marguerite Marsh (Window shoppers)
Produced by American Biograph
 

Synopsis

From Copyright Material submitted to the Library of Congress: When Mary's mother is dying, the young minister is summoned to the bedside. There, surrounded by the leading members of the church, she gives the minister a small pasteboard box requesting that he open it in secret. The young minister, after attempting to cheer up the austere father and the shy but sincere daughter, returns to the parsonage and opens the packet. It contains a few bills and numerous coins of various denominations. The minister also finds a letter which reads: "My Beloved Pastor: My husband worked me to death, but I have managed to save a little sum. Take it and from time to time buy my daughter the bits of finery she has always been denied. Let no one know. Mary Harding." After her mother's death, perhaps Mary, the daughter, does not find things going quite as smoothly, but she has been schooled all her life in repression. Her father is the sturdy old New England character, possessed of all the faults and none the virtues of this type. Mary's shy manners and queer clothes cause silly comment among the young people and the older people are too busy to bother with her. Some time after her mother's death, at the opening of the picture, Mary is looking in the glass in the old dining-room, and becomes dissatisfied with her small old black velvet hat that sits on her head like a small half-baked pancake. She summons up courage to ask her father for a new hat but is met with an emphatic refusal. After further inspection of herself in the glass, Mary decides to go out without any hat. Her one and only black glove, left from her mother's past finery, she doubles over in one hand giving the appearance of two gloves, and walks down the street in her mincing shy little steps holding her one glove out in front of her, as if to declare to the world that she was not without her finery. She passes two girls of the village who receive her smiling face kindly enough, but refuse to accept her society and smile at her odd appearance on her departure. Now, at the local millinery store there has just been received a hat from New York with the magnificent price of ten dollars attached. It is the sensation of the village, and many village maids pass by with longing eyes or are dragged away by disapproving mammas. Three gossips high in the affairs of the church are also attracted by the hat, but after a careful inspection inside the store, they pass to more practical conceptions in the hat line. In the meantime, Mary passes the window and looks in. As she is gazing fondly on the beautiful creation, the minister happens along. He and Mary admire the hat together, and after her departure, remembering the bequest left by the mother, he goes into the store to inspect the hat. The ladies of the church within are immediately aroused to a high pitch of suppressed excitement. After bidding him a polite departure as befits the dignity of his position, they at once begin to speculate. But Mary at home is dreaming of the marvels of the wonderful hat, when the minister enters with a bandbox. He presents it to Mary with little comment and goes. When Mary opens the bandbox the sight staggers her and, falling back into the chair, it is some time before she can actually believe her dream is true, but it soon becomes a fascinating actuality when once it is on her head before the glass. Next Sunday morning, as her father is leaving for church before her, she attempts to tell him about the new hat, but he abruptly dismisses her, presumably thinking she is repeating the request for a new hat. Accordingly Mary dons her new acquisition, and parading her one glove, in her usual style, marches off to church alone. On the way, she passes and bows to other church goers in her innocent endeavor to display the hat, but it is not until after church that the minister and Mary really are linked in a scandal. On her way out of church, she expects to be grandly received into society since her new acquisition should place her on a higher social standing, but the other young people are inclined to regard her with mingled awe and amusement, and when she passes the three ladies on the Church Board, the gossips at the store who witnessed the purchase, their smile of indulgence changes to sudden and marked disapproval as they see on her head the hat bought by the minister. Later these three ladies meet the father on his way from church and acquaint him with the facts of the case. He arrives home before Mary. She enters guiltily, remembering the snubs received after church and hides her hat behind her. He demands that she bring it forth, and in a tirade proceeds to tear it to shreds. He leaves Mary hugging the remains of the fond creation to herself, while he goes forth to seek reparation from the minister. When Mary realizes this she hastens after him, and meets the Church Board on the way to the minister's to investigate the scandal. Mary intercepts them and arrives before them. In telling him she sinks on her knees before him and he lifts her face to better hear what she is saying, when the board arrives outside. The principal lady of the board peeps through the blind and sees them in this attitude. The men and women of the Board enter and demand an explanation. The minister shows them the bequest of the dead mother, and they are about to retire with apologies, when the father, having failed to find the minister at the church, comes into their midst. He also is shown the letter, and perhaps sees his characters in its true light for a moment. The Board departs, while the minister is suddenly filled with desire to assume another trust. Mary cannot believe her ears when the minister asks her to marry him and thus hush all scandal forever. She repeats the question to her father many times, until he tells her that it is the best way out of it and she then accepts the minister as befits a dutiful, simple maiden.

Cutting continuity

Copyright Descriptive Material, Library of Congress, December 5, 1912, LU151 Eagle Title: The New York Hat Sub-title: A dying mother's strange trust Room: Woman in bed; man and woman standing behind bed; man and girl standing alongside of bed Sub-title: The bequest Room - minister's study Letter: My Beloved Pastor: My husband worked me to death, but I have managed to save a little sum. Take it and from time to time buy my daughter the bits of finery she has always been denied. Let no one know. Mary Harding Sub-title: Afterwards - "Daddy, can't I have a new hat?" Man sitting at table - girl standing a short distance from him Room: Girl looking in mirror Room: Man sitting at table - girl talking to him Room: Girl looking in mirror Exterior of house - fence - gate: Exterior - Man in distance, walking down street Sub-title: The village sensation Store: Interior: Women in store - woman in foreground, looking at hat Exterior of house: Man standing on porch Interior of store: Woman in foreground with hat in her hand - other women in store Exterior of store - the show window Exterior of store: Three girls standing in front of store window Exterior of store: Girl and minister looking in window Sub-title: The minister recalls his trust Exterior of store: Minister looking in window Interior of store: Several women in store Exterior of store: Window: Woman taking hat from window Interior of store: Several women in store minister standing in foreground Room: Interior of store: Several women in store - minister leaving with hat-box in his hand Exterior of store: Sub-title: The gossips speculate Interior of store: Several women in store, looking toward door Room: Girl sitting in chair near table, asleep Exterior of house - fence - gate: Room: Girl taking cover from hat-box Exterior of house - porch Room: Girl putting hat on Sub-title: Sunday morning - She attempts to explain Room: Man with hat in hand, walking toward door Exterior of house - fence - gate: Man coming out of gate Room: Girl standing before mirror, putting on hat Exterior of house - fence - gate: Street: People walking down street Exterior of church: Several people entering church - others standing near church Sub-title: After church - Mary and the minister linked in a scandal Exterior of church: Several people coming out of church Sub-title: The gossip reaches the father Exterior of house - street: Man walking down street Exterior of church: Minister leaving church Room: Exterior of house - fence - gate: Girl entering gate Room: Man sitting in chair Sub-title: He seeks reparation from the minister Exterior of house - fence - gate: Room: Girl standing near chair Exterior of house - fence - gate: Street: People walking down street Exterior - fence: Sub-title: The church board investigates Exterior: Several people talking Exterior - fence: Girl standing near fence Exterior Several people standing in foreground Exterior - fence: Girl standing near fence Exterior of church: Man leaving church Exterior - fence: Several people standing in foreground, talking Exterior of house - porch: Girl at door Minister's study: Minister sitting near table, reading Exterior of house - porch: Minister's study: Minister bending over girl, talking to her. Exterior of house - porch: Several people on porch Minister's study: Minister talking to girl Exterior of house - porch: Minister's study: Minister, girl and several other people in room Letter: My Beloved Pastor: My husband worked me to death, but I have managed to save a little sum. Take it, and from time to time buy my daughter the bits of finery she has always been denied. Let no one know. Mary Harding. Exterior of house - porch: Several people on porch Sub-title: An unexpected trust Minister's study: Minister talking to girl - her father standing nearby Trade-mark: [AB logo]
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