Hill Billy (1924)

  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Jack Pickford, younger brother of Mary, both produced and starred in this rural melodrama about a young boy whose mother marries the villain that killed her husband for his coal-rich land. Despite his antipathy toward "Groundhog" Spence (Frank Leigh), his new stepfather, Jeb McCoy (Pickford) falls in love with the man's niece, Emmy Lou Spence (Lucille Ricksen), who teaches the boy to read and write. Groundhog has other plans, however, and forces Emmy Lou to marry his wastrel son Aaron (Ralph Yearsley). When the latter is shot by angry villagers, Jeb is accused of the crime. He proves his innocence, and it comes to a final confrontation between the youngster and his greedy stepfather on a raft in the river. Spence is drowned but Jeb is rescued in the nick of time by Emmy Lou. Most contemporary reviewers dismissed the film as pure melodrama but marveled at the climactic fight on the raft. Teenager Lucille Ricksen died soon after appearing in this film, reportedly the victim of a botched abortion.