Jim Bludso is engineer of the Mississippi River packet the "Prairie Belle." He has a home in Gilgal, Ill., and a wife and twelve-month-old baby at the time the story opens, in 1861. A call ... See full summary »


, (poem)


Credited cast:
Jim Bludso
Olga Grey ...
Little Breeches
Charles Lee ...
Tom Taggart
Kate Taggart
Ben Merrill
James O'Shea ...
Banty Tim
Joe Bower
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Al Joy ...
Lillian Langdon
Baby Spofford ...
the Baby


Jim Bludso is engineer of the Mississippi River packet the "Prairie Belle." He has a home in Gilgal, Ill., and a wife and twelve-month-old baby at the time the story opens, in 1861. A call is received for volunteers and he joins the Northern army. His wife is a Southern girl, and she opposes his joining the Union forces. The quarrel results in a separation and Jim goes to war. Ben Merrill, an unscrupulous contractor, meets Jim's wife in Natchez, her home town, and induces her to go with him to New Orleans. She deserts her baby and goes. In New Orleans a levee contractor comes to Merrill with the proposition that they take the contract for a new levee to be built at Gilgal. Merrill accepts and leaves New Orleans without telling the woman where he is going, and she is left to take care of herself. After the war Jim returns to Natchez and finds that his wife has deserted their little boy, and no one knows where she is. He takes the boy, Little Breeches, and Banty Tim, a negro, who has ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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reconstruction | See All (1) »






Release Date:

4 February 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Översvämningen vid Mississippi  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


After being destroyed in a heavy wind storm some of the sets for this film were completely rebuilt. See more »

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User Reviews

Perfect is the atmosphere of river life that it portrays
2 February 2015 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

Jim Bludso is a careful picturization by Tod Browning and Wilfred Lucas of the poem by John Hay. Careful is the word in a case where so many difficulties naturally arise, where negligence would result in loss of atmosphere and consequent destruction of illustrative value. Mr. Lucas gives one of his strong and consistent characterizations as an engineer on one of the Mississippi river packets, the charm of nearly every piece in which he appears. He is well supported by a capable cast, and the air of sincerity pervading this entire release places it high in the worthwhile class. Its chief fault is that of scattering interest by leaving the main line of interest so often for the sake of presenting other characters, a common enough fault, and recourse to such old devices as pressure brought by a villain on the father of an innocent girl. That is an almost constant interpolation of studio directors who write their own plays instead of reaching out for new and original matter. Aside from the interesting characterizations, the carefully selected settings draw attention and interest. The race between river boats; the scenes aboard them; the burning of a fine-looking river packet and the levee break are all intensely realistic. Here directorial skill is manifested at every step. With fine interpretation and treatment, there is only lacking the originality and single-action structure provided by capable authors of screen stories. The feature may be called a study of the time and place to which it refers, so fascinatingly perfect is the atmosphere of river life that it portrays. These make it entertaining enough for a place on any good program. – The Moving Picture World, February 10, 1917

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