The Blot (1921)

 |  Drama  |  4 September 1921 (USA)
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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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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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

4 September 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Happened Next Door  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


College scenes were filmed at the University of California, Los Angeles, which was located at the time on Vermont Avenue in Hollywood, and later relocated to Westwood. The site on Vermont is now (2011) occupied by Los Angeles City College. None of the original buildings which appeared in this film have survived. See more »


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 »


The Professor's Pupil - Phil West: We enjoy the distinction of having the finest educational system and school buildings in the world. Why are we so niggardly with our teachers?
See more »

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User Reviews

has historical value
19 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Like most of the other reviewers, I found "The Blot" disappointingly slow and preachy, with some flaws in its dramatic structure. However, the film does have value as a study of 1920's social conflicts that people nowadays may not realize even existed. For example, the heroine's mother looks down upon her wealthier next-door neighbors because their money comes from selling shoes (while at the same time she steals from their garbage can to feed the pet cat she can't otherwise afford). How many people today think there is anything "low" about selling shoes? When a group of teenagers boisterously starts an impromptu jazz-piano-and-dance session in a living room, the message is that these kids are vulgar and out of control. But many parents in 2007 would get down on their knees in gratitude if their teenagers engaged in such innocent pastimes. If it wasn't for filmmakers like Lois Weber, such changes in popular opinion would go by unnoticed. In addition, the film does succeed in portraying some of the small heartbreaks of "genteel poverty" and neighborhood rivalry with genuine feeling. And aren't voters everywhere still arguing about whether teachers are fairly compensated for their work?

Wikipedia claims that "The Blot" is unusual for the time in its use of natural light and real locations.

According to film historians, Lois Weber was considered one of the best and most important directors in her day. The fact that modern viewers have trouble relating to the way she tells her stories is in itself evidence that times have changed in ways we might not yet understand. Just one of the many arguments for film preservation.

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