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Nugget Jim's Pardner (1916)

Hal, the rich and good-for-nothing son of a rich man, is thrown out by his father after another night out. He ends up in the West and living with a gold digger. He'll help him with his daughter and they all will become fond of each other.

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Cast

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...
Hal
Jack Farrell ...
Dekker
...
Madge Keith (as Anna Little)
Dick La Reno ...
Nugget Jim Keith
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Storyline

The son of a wealthy business man, Hal, is untouched by the hand of care. His father frequently remonstrates with him and urges him to give up his frivolous ways, but Hal laughs at him. Entirely out of patience, his father one night orders him from the house, and with but a dollar in his pockets Hal proceeds to a saloon, and ordering the drinks for the house, spends his last cent. Somewhat confused, but still carefree, he finds shelter for the night in an open box car. Somewhere in Arizona lives Nugget Jim, a miner, who spends most of his time indulging in liquor. And after a somewhat adventurous trip across the continent, Hal arrives in this region. Being hungry, he enters Jim's cabin, and finding no one there, proceeds to cook himself a meal. Jim appears, and furiously attacks him. Then he forces Hal to come to his mine and work for the food he has stolen. Hal laughingly goes to work. And that night he comes to Jim's cabin again and tells Jim that he intends to stay with him and ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Short | Western

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Release Date:

14 July 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Calibre of Man  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

Featured in Murnau, Borzage and Fox (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Full of life
29 November 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Frank Borzage's early auteur films are fascinating (he's the lead actor and director). I've often felt a tinge of the monstrous in his later work, where he could feel the need to expound on his pretty fanatical views on existence by use of contrast (particularly in Lazybones). Borzage believed in characters, in integrity, exuberance, audacity, and charm. These first films steer clear of the more antithetical characters such as the Carpenter from Liliom, punch-drunk lonely losers for whom Borzage had no pity.

Nugget Jim's pardner (Borzage), is an easy-come-easy-go character, an heirling who has worn through the last of pater's patience, eaten through his allowance of allowances. Off he pops, after one last drunken hurrah, to makes his living way out west. He teams up with a prospector and his daughter and they develop a happy family situation. Whilst funny, the film has more going for it than laughs, it's essentially existential, and demonstrates that people rather than cash money are real wealth. The way this sunbeam errant behaves, the way he smiles and laughs good-naturedly whatever the situation is a joy to behold. I'd add that Borzage can really act, his drunk walk is something else (or maybe he just got crocked beforehand!).

The ending is one of the best endings to a film I've seen, full of hope, joy, and new, fresh life. It's a pretty good idea for this sort of thing to be accompanied by banjo, or some sort of old time music (piano doesn't do it justice).


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