Dangerous Innocence
Dangerous Innocence (1925) - 1.jpg
Directed byWilliam A. Seiter
Written byLewis Milestone
James O. Spearing
Based onAnn's an Idiot
by Pamela Wynne
Produced byCarl Laemmle
StarringLaura La Plante
Eugene O'Brien
Jean Hersholt
Alfred Allen
CinematographyRichard Fryer
Merritt B. Gerstad
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • April 12, 1925 (1925-04-12)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Dangerous Innocence is a 1925 American silent romantic comedy film written by Lewis Milestone and James O. Spearing based upon the 1923 novel Ann's an Idiot by Pamela Wynne. Directed by William A. Seiter for Universal Pictures, the film starred Laura La Plante and Eugene O'Brien.[1][2]


Still with O'Brien and La Plante
Still with O'Brien and La Plante

On a ship sailing from England to India, Ann Church (Laura La Plante) meets young and dashing Major Anthony Seymour (Eugene O'Brien), falls in love and makes some innocent advances to gain his attentions. Ann is 19, but looks 15. The Major at first resists her advances because he believes she is that young, and later he holds back after learning that Ann's mother Muriel (Hedda Hopper) was his ex-girlfriend. Another passenger, Gilchrist (Jean Hersholt) who is a cad, takes advantage of Ann's naiveté and places her in a compromising position. To save her reputation, the Major proposes to Ann and she accepts. When they arrive in Bombay, Gilchrist gets even by telling Ann that the Major had had an affair with her mother, causing Ann to break the engagement. Angry, the Major follows Gilchrist off ship and thrashes him. As she prepares to return alone to England, the Major forces Gilchrist to admit to Ann that the relationship between the Major and Ann's mother was platonic and never romantic. The young couple reunite and are later married at sea.



Approximately one half of the scenes were shot on board the SS Calawaii of the Los Angeles Steamship Company during 14 days during a round trip voyage from San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii.[2][3]


The New York Times writes that the subject of shipboard romances are "invariably appealing, especially when the heroine has youth and beauty and the hero is a British Major clad in a faultlessly cut uniform", offering that the film begins well and slackens at the end only because the heroine "is just a little bit too credulous, even for a girl who is much in love." They offer that viewers are apt to think of the Rudyard Kipling poem An Unknown Goddess, because La Plante's character of Ann is younger than she appears and Eugene O'Brien's character of Major Anthony Seymour initially takes only a paternal interest in someone he believes a child. When he realizes her age his intentions turn affectionate, but become complicated when he learns that Ann is the daughter of an old sweetheart. They praise director William A. Seiter, writing that he "shows originality and imagination in his direction of a number of scenes." They also share that "Laura La Plante is quite effective as Ann", and that Eugene O'Brien "acts the role of Seymour with sincerity and restraint." They conclude that the film "is a photoplay which can be enjoyed because of the appealing love story and the pains taken by the producers to give an idea of the background, both aboard ship and in India."[4]


With no prints of Dangerous Innocence located in any film archives,[5] it is a lost film.[6]


  1. ^ White Munden, Kenneth, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog Of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1921-1930, Part 1. Un4iversity of California Press. p. 167. ISBN 0-520-20969-9.
  2. ^ a b "Dangerous Innocence (1925)". silentera.com. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  3. ^ "Complete Filming of La Plante-O'Brien Picture: William Seiter Finishes Direction of Dangerous Innocence, from the Novel by Pamela Wynne, Anne's an Idiot". Universal Weekly. New York City, New York: Moving Picture Weekly Pub. Co. 20 (21): 11. January 3, 1925. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  4. ^ Mordaunt Hall (June 8, 1925). "The Screen: I'll Show You the Town & Dangerous Innocence". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database: Dangerous Innocence
  6. ^ Arne Andresen. "The Lost Films of Universal Pictures, 1925". silentsaregolden.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2011.