A Harp in Hock proved to be a felicitous reteaming of veteran Austrian stage star Rudolph Schildkraut and juvenile favorite Junior Coghlan, who'd previously co-starred in The Country Doctor. Upon arriving in New York, Irish lad Coghlan discovers that his mother has just died. Coghlan is unofficially adopted by May Robson, his mom's tenement neighbor, but when the feisty orphan takes a poke at Robson's bullying son, he is turned over to the cops. Likeable Jewish pawnbroker Schildkraut assumes custody of Coghlan during the boy's probation, but after a second confrontation with Robson's son, the kid is shipped off to an orphanage. Escaping, Coghlan makes a beeline to Schildkraut's hockshop, where in a tearful conclusion the old man decides to permanently adopt the boy. In recalling A Harp in Hock in his autobiography, Frank "Junior" Coghlan noted that director Renaud Hoffman insisted that the young actor speak in an Irish brogue while on the set -- even though the film was silent!
by Hal Erickson synopsis