Why Girls Leave Home (1921 film)

Why Girls Leave Home is a lost[4] 1921 American silent drama film produced by Harry Rapf for Warner Bros.[5] It was the only film from the studio to make a profit in 1921.[6] The poster for the film was featured in the 1962 film Gypsy.[7]

Why Girls Leave Home
Newspaper advertisement
Directed byWilliam Nigh
Produced byHarry Rapf
Written byWilliam Nigh
StarringAnna Q. Nilsson
CinematographyJohn W. Brown
Harry Rapf Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 1921 (1921-07) (US)
Running time
70-80 minutes (7-8 reels)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Box office$450,000 (worldwide rentals)[2][3]

Why Girls Go Back Home (1926) is a sequel to the film that was also produced by Warner Bros.


Mr. Hedder (George Lessey) is an old fashioned man who will not let his daughter Anna (Anna Q. Nilsson) own an evening gown, but she is given one by a friend who is a model. Hedder believes that she stole it and confers with Mr. Wallace (Claude King), the owner of the store. On Wallace's advice, Hedder hits Anna, causing her to leave home and move in with some gold diggers. She discovers that Wallace is a lenient father, and his daughter, Madeline (Maurine Powers) frequents less-than-reputable nightclubs, and is also the pawn of Mr. Reynolds (Coit Albertson), who is dating her for business reasons. Anna discovers Madeline alone in Anna's apartment and uses this to get back at Wallace. She eventually sends Madeline home, and the two fathers reconcile with their daughters.


Box Office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $410,000 domestically and $40,000 in foreign.[3]

Preservation status

This film is now lost. Warner Bros. records of the film's negative have a notation, "Junked 12/27/48" (i.e., December 27, 1948). Warner Bros. destroyed many of its negatives in the late 1940s and 1950s due to nitrate film pre-1933 decomposition. No copies of Why Girls Leave Home are known to exist.


  1. Why Girls Leave Home at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. Glancy, H Mark (1995). "Warner Bros Film Grosses, 1921–51: the William Schaefer ledger". Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television. 15.
  3. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 1 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  4. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Why Girls Leave Home
  5. Progressive Silent Film List: Why Girls Leave Home at silentera.com
  6. Bachmann, Gregg (2002). American Silent Film: Discovering Marginalized Voices. SIU Press. p. 220. ISBN 9780809324019.
  7. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, c.1921
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