Arms and the Girl (film)

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For the 1935 Sidney Lanfield film, see Red Salute.
Arms and the Girl
Arms and the Girl - 1917 - newspaper advert.jpg
Newspaper advertisement.
Directed by Joseph Kaufman
Produced by Adolph Zukor
Jesse Lasky
Written by Charles Whittaker (scenario)
Based on Arms and the Girl
by Grant Stewart and Robert Baker
Starring Billie Burke
Thomas Meighan
Cinematography William Marshall
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • October 8, 1917 (1917-10-08)
  • October 14, 1917 (1917-10-14)
Running time
50 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
Film still with Burke and Meighan

Arms and the Girl is a 1917 American silent drama film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Joseph Kaufman and stars Billie Burke. The film is one of the few of director Kaufman's to survive and the earliest known Billie Burke silent to survive.[1][2]

The film is based on a 1917 Broadway play which starred a young Fay Bainter.[3]


As described in a film magazine,[4] during August 1914 Ruth Sherwood (Burke), an American traveling through Belgium with her parents, is left behind in Beaupre will sending a message to her fiance in Paris. She is compelled to seek shelter at the Hotel Tete d'Or as there are no more trains that day. Here she meets another American, Wilfred Ferrers. Ruth's passport is stolen by Olga Karnovitch (Bates), a Russian spy, who leaves her Russian passport in Ruth's hands. The town is invaded by Germans who are headed towards Paris, and they make the inn their headquarters. Ferrers is discovered destroying the Russian passport and is ordered to be shot at once. Ruth comes to his assistance by claiming that he is her fiance. The German officer is skeptical, and he orders that they be married at once. The ceremony is held beneath the upheld swords of the Germans, and an embarrassing night follows as the couple retire to their room. Ferrers overcomes the sentinel at their door, dons his uniform, and forces the General (Trimble) at the point of a gun to give them a pass to get through the German lines into France. In the meantime, Jack Martin (David), Ruth's fiance, arrives, but she says that he is her chauffeur. Ferrers gives Jack the pass, but Ruth refuses to leave Ferrers, having fallen in love with her "husband." The Germans receive orders to move on and as Ferrers enters the inn to urge Ruth to depart at once, he is shot by the outraged General. Ruth borrows a smock from the innkeeper and with Ferrers makes her escape across the border into France.


  • Billie Burke - Ruth Sherwood
  • Thomas Meighan - Wilfred Ferrers
  • Louise Bates - Olga Karnovitch
  • J. Malcolm Dunn - Eugene
  • Arthur Bauer - Burgomaster
  • William David - Jack Martin
  • George S. Trimble - The General
  • Harry Lee - ?
  • May De Lacy - uncredited

Survival status[edit]

A copy of Arms and the Girl is preserved at the George Eastman House Motion Picture Collection in Rochester, New York.[5]


External links[edit]