Anna Ascends

Anna Ascends is a 1922 American silent romantic drama film directed by Victor Fleming, and based on the 1920 play of the same title by Henry Chapman Ford. Alice Brady reprises her starring role from the Broadway play.[1] The film is largely lost, with only a six-minute fragment still in existence.[2]

Anna Ascends
Anna Ascends-593646673-large.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byVictor Fleming
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Jesse Lasky
Written byMargaret Turnbull (scenario)
Based onAnna Ascends
by Henry Chapman Ford
StarringAlice Brady
CinematographyGilbert Warrenton
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 19, 1922 (1922-11-19)
Running time
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


The Broadway play is about a working class Syrian American waitress who through hard work "ascends" the social and economic ladder and becomes successful in the United States. The playwright Henry Chapman Ford loosely based his play on a real-life Syrian immigrant waitress in Boston named Anna Ayyoub, who mesmerized him. In his book, The Arab Americans: A History, writer Gregory Orfalea describes Ford's inspiration by quoting him, "Their family life, their clean way of living impressed me and I decided that the Americanization of such a race was a big factor in making the "melting pot" one of the greatest nations of history".[3] Ford went on: "I figured here is a people who could read and write probably 6,000 years before the northern 'blue eyes'. Here is a race who had a fine culture along with the great Egyptian dynasties, and as criminology seems to be a statistical fad at the present writing, here are a people who have less, en ratio, in prisons, than any other in the world. Hence, I figured, why not write a Syrian drama, a virgin field, anent the Syrians?"[3]

Lobby card



  1. ^ White Munden, Kenneth, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1921-1930. University of California Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-520-20969-9.
  2. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Anna Ascends".
  3. ^ a b Orfalea, Gregory (2006). The Arab Americans: A History. Northampton, Massachusetts: Olive Branch Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-5665-6597-4.
  4. ^ "Anna Ascends". Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  5. ^ "Editor Appears in Film". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. October 29, 1922. p. 4-W. Retrieved November 8, 2016.

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