Cast & Crew
In 1853, Laddie Stanton, the eldest son of a large Indiana farm family, secretly romances his beautiful English neighbor, Pamela Pryor, and, aided by his young sister, whom he has nicknamed "Little Sister," exchanges letters with her in the woods. Pamela's reserved and cautious manner cause Laddie's other sisters to regard her as "stuck up," while Pamela's genteel father Charles exhibits only social contempt for farmer Laddie. After Little Sister takes matters into her own hands and formally introduces Pamela to the Stanton family, Laddie asks Pamela for an audience with her father. Pamela, however, recoils at Laddie's request, alluding to a recent family tragedy that has rendered her father bitter and unapproachable. Inspired by the wedding of his sister Sally, Laddie declares his love to Pamela and insists that they discuss marriage with her father immediately. Again, Pamela hesitates and finally tells Laddie that her father is still mourning the death of her brother Robert and needs more time to adjust to his life in America. Unafraid and determined, Laddie ignores Pamela's admonitions and calls on the recalcitrant Charles. After announcing that he has bought the land adjacent to the Pryors', Laddie asks for Pamela's hand and is met with outrage by Charles. Thrown out of the Pryor home, Laddie then is chastised by Pamela, who suggests that he take up a genteel profession to please her snobbish father. Instead Laddie takes his plow to the field nearest to the Pryor house and, by loudly singing a pointed song about the joys of farming, goads Charles into another angry confrontation. Laddie's behavior infuriates Pamela, and concerned that her brother will lose his "princess," Little Sister goes to the woods to say a special prayer on his behalf. In the same woods, Pamela runs into her brother Robert, who did not die, but was disowned by Charles because of accusations that he stole army secrets in England. When Pamela realizes that Robert is ill with fever, she tells Little Sister to take him to her home. There Mrs. Stanton cares for Robert and notifies a doctor of his condition. Little Sister meanwhile runs into Charles in the forest and inadvertently reveals to him Robert's whereabouts. In a rage, Charles heads for the Stanton farm, and terrified that Charles will shoot Robert, Little Sister rushes to find Laddie. Eventually, however, Mrs. Stanton convinces Charles to forgive Robert and treat him as a "prodigal son," while Little Sister reunites Laddie and Pamela.
Pandro S. Berman
Hugh Mcdowell Jr.
Van Nest Polglase
Although this film was not viewed, the above credits were taken from a cutting continuity that was deposited with the copyright records. Motion Picture Herald's preview running time of 82 minutes suggests that the film was cut substantially before its general release. RKO borrowed Gloria Stuart from Universal for this production. A Hollywood Reporter news item adds Mary Beich to the cast, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items note that location shooting took place in Chino and Sunland, CA. According to modern sources, producer Pandro S. Berman acknowledged George Stevens' adept directing on Laddie by assigning him to direct the prestigious 1935 film Alice Adams (see entry above). In 1926, James Leo Meehan directed John Bowers and Bess Flowers in a silent version of Gene Stratton Porter's novel, which was produced by Gene Stratton Porter Productions (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.2912). RKO remade Laddie in 1940 .