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The Blot (1921)

 -  Drama  -  4 September 1921 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 241 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

The Professor dispenses the wisdom of the ages and does not make a living wage. The sons of the rich and powerful are students lacking any motivation. The next door neighbor of the ... See full summary »

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Airs Mon. Oct. 06, 12:00 AM on TCM

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Founding Mother of Film: Lois Weber
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Title: The Blot (1921)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Philip Hubbard ...
The Professor, Andrew Theodore Griggs
Margaret McWade ...
The Professor's Wife, Mrs. Griggs
...
The Professor's Daughter, Amelia Griggs
...
The Professor's Pupil, Phil West
Marie Walcamp ...
The Other Girl, Juanita Claredon
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Storyline

The Professor dispenses the wisdom of the ages and does not make a living wage. The sons of the rich and powerful are students lacking any motivation. The next door neighbor of the Professor, businessman Olsen, has money and lots of food, while the Griggs have hardly any. Both Peter Olsen and Reverend Gates are taken by the beauty of young Amelia Griggs. When rich son Phil West falls for Amelia Griggs and befriends the poor Reverend Gates, he finally sees the difference in his life and theirs and tries to do something to change that. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Happened Next Door  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print) | (restored-Thames Silents: Brownlow/Gill)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film shown at the Ambassador Theater in West Philadelphia. It had a 3 day run. See more »

Goofs

When Juanita visits the library to see Amelia, she puts her hand on the railing twice. Between shots, she is holding her fur piece differently as well. See more »

Quotes

Intertitle: Men are boys grown tall.
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User Reviews

 
If the Shoe Fits, Wear It Out
9 June 2012 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Pretty librarian Claire Windsor (as Amelia Griggs) begins to attract eligible men; they include the boy next door, their community's poor young minister, and wealthy student Louis Calhern (as Phil West). Since Ms. Windsor's parents are poverty-stricken, mother Margaret McWade (acting up a storm) would like her to marry Mr. Calhern. He is a student of Windsor's poorly-paid professor father Philip Hubbard. When Windsor becomes ill, the doctor orders Ms. McWade to provide her daughter with nourishing food - but the family doesn't even have enough money to make house payments, or feed itself and the family cats. Learning how the other half lives, Windsor's suitors come to her rescue

  • and teach viewers about humanity...




"Men are only boys grown tall," is our introduction. Guessing writer/director Lois Weber was trumpeting a call for charitable fairness, and higher pay for clergy and college professors; this is accomplished by the end of the narrative, as society's "boys" seem to have a better recognition of their responsibility. Within its narrative, "The Blot" hearkens an uneven distribution of income. Presently, much ado is made of Ms. Weber's gender. All sorts of readings are possible, most unsatisfying...

My enjoyment of the film is in its depiction of class - specifically the conflicts between "old money" (the extravagant West family), "new money" (the neighboring Olsen family), and "no money" (the lowly Griggs family). The real "class warfare" is between the lower classes, of course. Like today, the poor don't really resent the upper class, who live a lifestyle they do not even fully understand; those of middle and lower classes more often resent and envy each other, which is exactly what many (not all) of the super-rich want. Weber may not make her point, but she makes another one. The symbolism, much involving shoes, is strong. The setting is superb; it isn't more than you can see elsewhere, but it is conveyed exceptionally here.

******* The Blot (8/19/21) Lois Weber ~ Claire Windsor, Louis Calhern, Margaret McWade, Philip Hubbard


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