Daddy Long-Legs

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Daddy Long-Legs is the name of a very popular American novel by Jean Webster (1876-1916), as well as several stage and film adaptations.

Also written Daddy-Long-Legs, Daddy Longlegs, Daddy Long Legs and so on in various sources.

The original text

The epistolary novel for young adults was first published by Grosset and Dunlap in New York in 1912, with illustrations by the author and scenes from the play. Webster also wrote a popular sequel called Dear Enemy (1915).

The novel was translated into Afrikaans as Vadertjie Langbeen by W.O. Kühne and published, with the original illustrations, by Springbok Boeke in their Libri-series (no. 25) in 1958.

Adaptations and translations

Stage adaptations

The novel was adapted by the author herself from her own 1912 epistolary novel, the play was first produced at the Gaiety Theatre, New York playing for 264 performances from 28 September 1914 to 1 May 2015. evenings.

Another stage adaptation was the British stage musical comedy called Love from Judy, released in 1952.

A third adaptation, as a two-person musical play, was done in 2009 by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (music), and performed by the Rubicon Theatre Company and TheatreWorks in that year. It premiered Off-Broadway at the Davenport Theatre on September 27, 2015.[1]

Film versions

The book was filmed several times, beginning in 1919 with a film starring Mary Pickford, in 1931 with one starring Janet Gaynor and Warner Baxter, in 1935 with an adaptation called Curly Top, starring Shirley Temple and in 1955 aother adaptation of the plot for a dance film called Daddy Long Legs featuring Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron.

It was filmed in 1938 in Dutch as Vadertjie Langbeen, directed by Friedrich Zelnik for the Neerlandia-Filmproduktie Maatschappij, with Lily Bouwmeester, Paul Storm, Emma Morel, and Gusta Chrispijn-Mulder.

 in 1955 and as a made-for-TV film in 1964. (Not to be confused with the 1955 Afrikaans film of the same name - see below.)

In addition there have been two Japanese anime versions, a musical television special (1979) and a Japanese TV serial called Watashi no Ashinaga Ojisan ("My Daddy-Long-Legs"), directed by Kazuyoshi Yokota for the Nippon Animation studio (1990), a Malayalam (India) film movie called Kanamarayathu (1984), a Hindi remake by the same director called Anokha Rishta (1986) and a 2005 Korean film called Kidari Ajeossi which has elements of Daddy-Long-Legs, and has been transferred into a modern setting. (See Daddy Long-Legs in Wikipedia[2])


The original play was translated into Dutch by Jaap van der Pol and Afrikaans as Vadertjie Langbeen

South African stage productions

1918: The American Dramatic Company brought it to His Majesty's Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, opening on 21 February 1918. The cast consisted of Eileen Errol (Judy Abbott), Charles H. White (Jervis Pendleton), Ray Brown (Cyrus Wycoff), Albert Lawrence (Jimmie McBride), George R. Montford (John Codman), Richard Scott (Griggs), Edward Donnelly (Walters), Caroline Locke (Miss Pritchard), Florence Roberts (Mrs. Lippett), Naomi Rutherford (Sally McBride), Hilda Attenboro (Julie Pendleton), Martha Rowson (Sadie Kate), Jacky Turnbull (Freddie Perkins). It was directed by George R. Montford, with scenery designed by Frank Tyars.

1934: Performed in Afrikaans as Vadertjie Langbeen by James Norval and his company, featuring

198*: Produced in English by ** with Diane Todd, Bob Courtney, Jill Girard.

South African film versions

The Afrikaanse Rolpentproduksies ("Afrikaans film productions") production company released Vadertjie Langbeen, a black and white film version of the Afrikaans text, adapted and directed by Pierre de Wet, on 25 February 1955. The cast consisted of Rita Bornmann as "Trudi Adendorff", Bob Griffiths as "Jacques de Villiers", Yvonne Theron, Patrick Mynhardt, Wynona Cheyney, Paula Styger, Albie van der Bijl, Joan Viljoen, Hester van Niekerk, Vlokkie du Toit, Francis Coertze, Esther Mentz, Hildegarde Botha, Paddy Norval as "Katie" and the voice of Gert van den Bergh (uncredited). The cinematographer was John C. Brown and the film was edited by Dennis Gurney.

(This version is not to be confused with the 1955 Dutch film of the same name - see above.)


Stage and Cinema, 16 February 1918

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