The Girl Without a Soul

The Girl Without a Soul is a 1917 American silent feature film featuring Viola Dana in a dual role as sisters.

The Girl Without a Soul
The Girl Without a Soul.jpg
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Directed byJohn H. Collins
Produced byB.A. Rolfe
CinematographyJohn Arnold
Distributed byMetro Pictures
Release date
  • August 13, 1917 (1917-08-13)
Running time
5 reels (approximately 50 minutes)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The film was produced by B.A. Rolfe and shot in the Fort Lee, New Jersey area. Rolfe moved his production company west to Hollywood in the wake of the 1918 influenza epidemic, but not before director Collins fell victim and died in a New York hotel room in October of that year.[1]

This film is preserved complete at the George Eastman House Motion Picture Collection in New York.[2] In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."[3][4][5]


As described in a film magazine,[6] Priscilla and Unity Beaumont (Dana) are as different as night and day. Priscilla longs for a career on the concert stage, while Unity is the family drudge. Ivor (Jones), a Russian violinist, persuades Priscilla to steal some money from the village blacksmith Hiram Miller (Walker), which he was holding in trust to purchase a new church organ. Unity, who is in love with Hiram, learns of the location of the money and restores it to the church during the trial of Hiram. Hiram is freed of the charge, and Priscilla learns that Ivor is but a deceiver.



Like many American films of the time, The Girl Without a Soul was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. The Chicago Board of Censors cut a scene with money being taken from a tin box, the intertitle "You had better remain here and go away tomorrow," and a vision of the girl taking money from the tin box.[7]


  1. ^ "Detail view of Movies Page". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "Girl Without A Soul". November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "'Jurassic Park,' 'The Shining,' and 23 Other Movies Added to National Film Registry".
  4. ^ "National Film Registry Turns 30". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  5. ^ "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  6. ^ "Reviews: The Girl Without a Soul". Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (10): 27. September 1, 1917.
  7. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. 5 (10): 33. September 1, 1917. Retrieved July 14, 2015.

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