Nina, the Flower Girl

Nina, the Flower Girl is a lost American 1917 silent drama film produced by D. W. Griffith through his Fine Arts Film Company and distributed by Triangle Film Corporation. The film starred Bessie Love, an up-and-coming ingenue actress.[1] It also marked the final acting role for Elmer Clifton, who was by then moving on to directing full-time.

Nina, the Flower Girl
Scene from the film
Directed byLloyd Ingraham
Produced byD. W. Griffith
Written byMary H. O'Connor
StarringBessie Love
CinematographyFrank Urson
Distributed byTriangle Film Corporation
Release date
  • January 21, 1917 (1917-01-21)
Running time
5 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


Nina (Love), who is blind, makes artificial flowers. Jimmie (Clifton), a hunchback newsboy, who is also an artist, is in love with her. Nina has been deceived into thinking that Jimmie is a prince who lives in a palace. When wealthy Fred Townsend (Hadley) and his mother offer to finance a surgery to restore Nina's vision, Jimmie misunderstands and thinks that the Townsends plan to hurt Nina. He unsuccessfully tries to protect her from them, before learning of their true intentions.

Nina has the surgery and her vision is restored, but Jimmie fears that she may not love him once she realized he is not a prince. He plans to attempt suicide by falling from a high place, but instead encounters a surgeon who performs a surgery to fix his hunchback. He and Nina are reunited and are in love.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]



To prepare for her role as the blind girl, Love spent time at the Los Angeles Institute for the Blind.[3]

During filming, a 6-piece orchestra played music for the actors, and real champagne was used on camera.[5]

Release and reception

Upon its release, it was shown with a Keystone comedy.[10]

The film received mediocre to negative reviews.[11][12][13] In particular, its blatant sentimentality was poorly received.[14]

Bessie Love's performance was very well-reviewed,[3][6][11] called "an excellent bit of unaffected acting" by one reviewer.[15]


  1. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1911–20 by The American Film Institute, c. 1988
  2. "Triangle Film Corp". The Moving Picture World. February 3, 1917. p. 745.
  3. "Oak Park Theatre". Forest Leaves. 11 (3). Forest Park, IL. January 19, 1917. p. 5.
  4. "At the Oak Park Theatre". Forest Leaves. 11 (3). Forest Park, IL. January 19, 1917. p. 14.
  5. "Living Pictures in New Bessie Love Play". Motography. Vol. 17 no. 2. January 13, 1917. p. 60.
  6. Graves, George W. (January 20, 1917). "Nina, the Flower Girl". Motography. Vol. 17 no. 3. pp. 150–1.
  7. Nash, Jay Robert; Connelly, Robert; Ross, Stanley Ralph (1988). Motion Picture Guide Silent Film 1910–1936. Cinebooks. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-933997-10-3.
  8. "Triangle Program". Motography. Vol. 17 no. 3. January 20, 1917. p. 160.
  9. Harrison, Louis Reeves (January 20, 1917). "Nina, the Flower Girl". The Moving Picture World. p. 358.
  10. "At Leading Picture Theaters". The Moving Picture World. February 3, 1917.
  11. Saxe, M. J. (February 10, 1917). "What the Picture Did for Me". Motography. Vol. 17 no. 6. p. 280.
  12. Milne, Peter (January 20, 1917). "Nina, the Flower Girl". Motion Picture News. Vol. 15 no. 3. p. 439.
  13. "Film Reviews". Variety. Vol. 45 no. 7. January 12, 1917. p. 24.
  14. Hutchinson, Tom (1984). Screen Goddesses. Exeter Books. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-671-07150-9.
  15. Todd, Stanley (October 1917). "The Rise of Bessie Love". Motion Picture Magazine. Vol. 14 no. 9. p. 37.

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