That Royle Girl

That Royle Girl is a 1925 American silent comedy film directed by D. W. Griffith and released by Paramount Pictures. The film was based on the novel of the same name by Edwin Balmer, and starred Carol Dempster, W. C. Fields and Harrison Ford. It is now considered lost.[1][2]

That Royle Girl
Film poster
Directed byD. W. Griffith
Produced byJesse L. Lasky
Written byPaul Schofield
Based onThat Royle Girl
by Edwin Balmer
StarringCarol Dempster
W. C. Fields
James Kirkwood
Harrison Ford
CinematographyHarry Fischbeck
Harold S. Sintzenich
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • December 7, 1925 (1925-12-07)
Running time
114 minutes
CountryUnited States
English intertitles


A poor young woman (Carol Dempster) from the slums of Chicago singlehandedly saves a jazz bandleader (Harrison Ford) after he is improperly convicted and sentenced to death for murder.[3]

This film, along with Sally of the Sawdust, marked Griffith's return to working for an important Hollywood studio, (Paramount), something he hadn't experienced since leaving Biograph in 1914 though his independently produced features were released through Triangle, Paramount and United Artists. He also had to work with a tight shooting script as Paramount executives Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky insisted the film be brought on schedule and on budget.

Griffith had been a founding partner in Triangle Studios in 1915 and United Artists in 1919, and these ventures allowed him leeway in the way he made films. However, now the leisurely approach to filmmaking Griffith had enjoyed at his own Mamaroneck, New York Long Island studio was gone. Griffith had been for all intents and purposes an independent producer since leaving Biograph. Griffith shot That Royle Girl on locations across Chicago. The film’s climactic sequence, a devastating tornado, was filmed on a football field at Paramount’s Astoria Studio in Queens, New York, where Griffith created a fully built village. Griffith used the power of 24 airplane propellers to recreate the wreckage and ruin of the tornado’s fury.

While the production was underway, Griffith added W. C. Fields to the cast for a comedy relief supporting role as the heroine’s inebriated stepfather.[4]


Preservation status

No print of That Royle Girl is known to exist.[1][5][6] In 1980, the American Film Institute included this title among its list of the “Ten Most Wanted” lost films of all time.[7]

See also


  1. Simmon, Scott (1993). The Films of D. W. Griffith. CUP Archive. p. 25. ISBN 0-521-38820-1.
  2. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: That Royle Girl
  3. Langman, Larry (1998). American Film Cycles: The Silent Era. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 208. ISBN 0-313-30657-5.
  4. Fields, Ronald J. “W.C. Fields: A Life on Film,” pages 31-33. St. Martin’s Press, 1984. ISBN 0-312-85312-2
  5. "That Royle Girl". Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  6. That Royle Girl at; Lost Films Wanted(Wayback Machine)
  7. Thomson, Frank. “Lost Films: Important Movies That Disappeared,” page xiv. Citadel Press, 1996. ISBN 0-8065-1604-6
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