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Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI's Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery Funding from the BFI

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Peter Pan

"If you are young, you will live and triumph with Peter Pan in all the glorious episodes that your imagination ever dreamed. If you are old, you will find yourself young again."

PETER PAN (USA) 1924 Adventure / Family / Fantasy

Director : Herbert Brenon

Starring :  Betty Bronson  
Ernest Torrence     
George Ali
1 hr  45 min    

Peter Pan is a 1924 silent adventure film released by Paramount Pictures, the first film adaptation of the play by J. M. Barrie. It was directed by Herbert Brenon and starred Betty Bronson as Peter Pan and Mary Brian as Wendy Darling. It also featured Ernest Torrence as Captain Hook, Virginia Browne Faire as Tinker Bell, and groundbreaking Chinese American actress Anna May Wong, as the Indian princess Tiger Lily.

The film was celebrated at the time for its innovative use of special effects (mainly to show Tinker Bell and the flying sequences). In 2000, the United States Library of Congress deemed it "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Barrie personally selected Betty Bronson for the role, after viewing audition reels shipped to England from the US. Barrie wrote a screenplay with additional scenes to take advantage of the greater freedom which the medium of film would allow. Instead Brenon used a screenplay by Willis Goldbeck based largely on the stageplay, and using bits of original stage dialogue in the intertitles.

Anticipating that UK audiences would object to the film being Americanized, but that American audiences would respond better with some yankee touches (as were common in stage productions), some scenes were shot with two versions. For example, when the Lost Boys take command of the Jolly Roger, they raise the Union Jack in the UK version, and the Stars and Stripes in the US version. Similarly there are lines in the US version referring to the boys as "American gentlemen" and whether or not Peter would grow up to be "president".

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