The Hoodlum (1919)

 |  Comedy  |  31 August 1919 (USA)
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A spoiled young rich girl is forced by misfortune to fight for survival in the slums and alleys, where she becomes involved with all manner of unpleasantness.


(as Sidney A. Franklin)


(novel) (as Julie M. Lippman) , (adapted by)
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Cast overview:
Ralph Lewis ...
Alexander Guthrie
Kenneth Harlan ...
William Turner
T.D. Crittenden ...
John Burke (as Dwight Crittendon)
Aggie Herring ...
Andrew Arbuckle ...
Pat O'Shaughnessy
Max Davidson ...
Abram Isaacs
Paul Mullen ...
The Pugilist
Buddy Messinger ...
Dish Lowry (as Buddie Messenger)


A spoiled young rich girl is forced by misfortune to fight for survival in the slums and alleys, where she becomes involved with all manner of unpleasantness. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mary Pickford In her Second Picture from her own Studios







Release Date:

31 August 1919 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dans les bas-fonds  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fatty Arbuckle's cousin, Andrew Arbuckle, plays the role of the Irish immigrant, Pat O'Shaughnessy, in the film. See more »


Craigen St. Girl: [Looking at Amy's Father] Dis guy's some swell; he flashes a cook.
[Speaking to Amy]
Craigen St. Girl: Say Kiddo! We wants to be friends.
Amy Burke: I am utterly fatigued. You will oblige me by leaving.
Craigen St. Girl: [Sarcastically] Oh girls! Miss Asterbilt is fat-i-goo-ed; we'll jest leave our cards.
See more »


Featured in Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (1997) See more »


The Hoodlum
words by Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young, music by Harry Ruby, c. 1919
'Dedicated to Mary Pickford in "The Hoodlum" her second picture from her own studios, A First National Attraction'
See more »

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User Reviews

The Wondrous Mary Pickford
30 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE HOODLUM is perhaps one of Mary Pickford's lesser known silent films, but it's a total delight. And she does not play "little Mary," in this one, but plays an older version of her famous and beloved character.

We first see Pickford as Amy Burke, a rich little terror who throws hysterical fits when she can't have her way. She's maybe 16-ish, in school, but she drives a car (a "white racer"). Her grandfather (Ralph Lewis) is planning a trip to Europe but she pitches a fit for some reason and decides to go live with her father on Craigen Street in New York City while he finishes up his sociological study for his book. Snooty Amy has a major culture shock as she adjusts to life in the slums.

So Pickford becomes one of the "gang," learns to fit in, and also learns through a neighbor (Kenneth Harlan) that her grandfather framed him and sent him to jail. Of course all wrongs are righted by the end of the film.

Pickford is hilarious as she shoots craps with loaded dice, runs from the police, dances a wild tango in an alley, and eventually settles the score between the wronged man (whom she marries) and her grandfather.

The film is great looking with a terrific "Craigen Street" set that includes tenement hallways and stairs, fire escapes, and alleys. The film is briskly directed by Sidney Franklin and boasts some beautiful title cards by Ferdinand Pinney Earle, who was the major title card artist of his time, and whose art sometimes resembles that of Edward Hopper.

But Mary Pickford is center stage here whether she's trashing her mansion bedroom, driving wildly down country roads, or dancing in an alley. Aggie Herring, Melvin Messinger, and Max Davidson (as Isaacs) co-star.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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