Synopsis by Janiss Garza
Since much of this film takes place in rural Kentucky, where director D.W. Griffith grew up, it no doubt has many autobiographical touches. Since the setting was so close to his heart, that may be why this simple and winsome picture is one of Griffith's most charming creations. With complete lack of pretension, it tells the story of John Logan Jr. (Robert Harron), an ambitious young inventor who is determined to be a success. So he heads for the big city to achieve his dream of making a toy frog that actually swims. Not that he hasn't had opposition -- his sweetheart, Jennie Timberlake (Lillian Gish, in a rare showing of her comic ability) and his parents (George Fawcett and Kate Bruce) have done everything they could to make him stay. Although he promises to return in a year's time, John gets caught up in the temptations of the city, including a flirtation with a spirited young lady (Carol Dempster in her first credited role). Eight years pass, and finally after much struggle, John's frog becomes a resounding success. He returns home to Happy Valley just in time -- his father is facing financial ruin and is desperate enough to commit robbery. John's presence saves the family, and he and Jennie are reunited.
big-city, family, frog, inventor, sweetheart, toy