Barefoot Boy (1923)

Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This sentimental rural drama was based on the poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. Frankie Lee plays Dick Alden, the barefoot boy of the title. He is abused by his stepfather and his only friends in the village where he lives are his mother, a little girl named Mary Truesdale (Gertie Messinger), and Tom Adams (Tully Marshall), the town drunkard. One day, he has to help Adams out of the cellar of the schoolhouse. Later, when the schoolhouse catches fire because of a careless smoker, Dick is blamed. No one believes his innocence and his father beats him, so he runs away. Many years later he returns (to be played by John Bower), a successful manufacturer who owns the mill that keeps the village alive. He plans to get revenge for his treatment as a boy by shutting the mill down, thus causing a financial disaster. But he's talked out of the scheme by Mary (played as an adult by Marjorie Daw). The mill is blown up anyhow by Dick's enemies, but he becomes determined to build a bigger, better plant in its place. This film, incidentally was released by C.B.C., derisively called "Corned Beef and Cabbage" by its competitors. Later on, the firm would change its name to Columbia and emerge from its Poverty Row beginnings.

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Keywords

child-abuse, false-accusation, humiliation, love, love-conquers-all, reunion, revenge, sweetheart, treachery