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My Boy (1921)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  December 1921 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 190 users  
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An orphan escapes immigration officials at Ellis Island and goes to live with an old ship's master who can't find work and can't pay the rent.


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Title: My Boy (1921)

My Boy (1921) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Cast overview:
Jackie Blair
Claude Gillingwater ...
Captain Bill
Mathilde Brundage ...
Mrs. Blair
Patsy Marks ...
Little Girl


Jackie Blair's father was killed in France. His mother died traveling in steerage. This leaves little Jackie Blair alone when he appears at Ellis Island, and the immigration officials want to send him right back. Captain Bill appears on the scene asking for a job - but he's too old and no one wants him. He sees lonely little Jackie, pities him and asks the eight Pinkosuwitz children to include him in their games. Thus, the Captain unwittingly engineers Jackie's escape. The orphan is mixed in with the Pinkosuwitzes when they leave the immigration building. When they find they've gained a ninth child, they send him on his way. This leaves Jackie to follow Captain Bill back to his very modest home - for which the old salt is unable to pay the rent. Jackie tries to make himself useful. He even sings and dances with an organ grinder to make money for the Captain's medicine. Little does either guess that Jackie's wealthy grandmother has everyone in immigration looking for the boy. When ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

December 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

My Boy  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is on the second disc in the 2-Disc Chaplin Collection DVD for The Kid (1921), released in 2004 by Warner Brothers. See more »


[first title card]
Title Card: Midway between the immeasurable distance from horizon to horizon, but nearing the coveted shore - America!
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User Reviews

Full of schmaltzy goodness....
14 February 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When I popped the bonus disk for Chaplin's "The Kid" into my DVD player, I had no idea it also contained a full-length Jackie Coogan starring vehicle--one about as long as "The Kid".

Unfortunately, when the film began, I was less thrilled. The movie clearly needed restoration as the print was quite scratchy. In addition, there was no musical accompaniment--making for a rather dull viewing experience compared to the typical fully restored silent. So is it still worth viewing? Read on a see.

Jackie Coogan plays a newly orphaned boy on a ship from Europe bound for America (with Jackie's signature hair style, it might be likely viewers would at first think he was a little girl). While being held in a holding cell awaiting deportation since he has no family, Jackie manages a clever escape. Soon, Jackie latches on to an old sea captain. The crusty old guy wants nothing to do with him, but Jackie persists until ultimately he wins the old guy's heart. But soon the old man becomes sick and they can't afford his medicine--so it's plucky Jackie to the rescue. Ultimately, however, the boy's rich and kindly grandmother learns where the child is and wants to help out herself. What will happen next, you'll just have to see for yourself.

I so many ways, this film is an awful lot like "The Kid" but with a salty old captain playing the role of a foster-father instead of the comedian Chaplin. And, like the Chaplin film, by the end the child is taken from the captain--who he has come to love. As a result, the film does seem a bit lazy and derivative--but is still nice but schmaltzy entertainment. Coogan was a very good little star and the film was quite enjoyable.

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