Judgment of the Hills (1927)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - War Drama  |  
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Although Virginia Valli is given top billing in this drama about World War I, Orville Caldwell has the biggest role, and the performance of nine-year-old Frankie Darro eclipses them both. Caldwell plays Brant Dennison, a roustabout inhabitant of the Kentucky hills. Although he is a hard drinker who has little use for education, he allows his kid brother, Tad (Darro), to go to school. Margaret Dix, the schoolteacher (Valli), has a positive influence on both of them. When the United States enters the Great War, Brant turns yellow when he sees how badly Jeb Marks (Frank McGlynn Jr.) has been shot up. He tries to avoid enlisting, but Tad has been taught patriotism by Margaret, and he helps rout out his reluctant older brother. Brant distinguishes himself overseas and returns a hero. The whole town waits anxiously for him to come home, but he steps off the train disgustingly intoxicated and proceeds to return to his drinking buddies. Only through Tad does Brant decide to straighten up and change his ways.

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Keywords

war, alcoholism, boy, brother, child, courage, coward, handicap, hero, medal, military-draft, mountainman, mountains, reform [improve], romance, school, schoolteacher, strength, teacher, town, train [locomotive], veteran [military]