Daddy Long Legs (1931 film)

Daddy Long Legs (1931) is an American pre-Code film directed by Alfred Santell and starring Janet Gaynor and Warner Baxter. The story involves an orphan who is taken under the wing of a wealthy benefactor.[2]

Daddy Long Legs
Daddy Long Legs (1931) Movie Poster.jpg
Film poster, 1931
Directed byAlfred Santell
Produced bySol M. Wurtzel
Written byNovel:
Jean Webster
S.N. Behrman
Sonya Levien
Alfred Santell
StarringJanet Gaynor
Warner Baxter
Una Merkel
John Arledge
Music byHugo Friedhofer
CinematographyLucien N. Andriot
Edited byRalph Dietrich
Release date
June 5, 1931 (1931-06-05)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$987,000(domestic rentals)[1]

The original story, written in 1912 by Jean Webster, compared the childhood of the wealthy to that of orphanage children. Although suffering under a tough matron, Judy Abbott (Janet Gaynor) manages to cope and help the other orphans through intelligence and hard work, and the wealthy Jervis Pendleton (Warner Baxter), who is the benefactor, can't help admiring his young charge. Yet, she doesn't know it's he who is sponsoring her schooling, even when they meet, through Jervis' niece, who is Judy's roommate, and the girl, who was once alone, has to choose between their growing affection and a younger suitor.[3]



Janet Gaynor had won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in 1928 and Warner Baxter had won the second Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the Cisco Kid in In Old Arizona by the time Daddy Long Legs was released. The screenplay was based on the stage play Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster.[3]

Fox made French and Italian dubbed versions of the film and successfully sued a Dutch company for making a film based on the same material.[4]


  1. ^ Fragias, Leonidas (2017). Annual US Top Film Rentals 1912 - 1979 (Kindle Edition). Leonidas Fragias.
  2. ^ Daddy Long Legs (1931),; accessed July 23, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Daddy Long Legs (1931 film),; accessed July 23, 2015.
  4. ^ Daddy-Long-Legs (1931 film),; accessed July 23, 2015.