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Sparrows (1926)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  1926 (Germany)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 758 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 22 critic

Molly, the eldest child at a baby farm hidden deep in a swamp, must rescue the others when their cruel master decides that one of them will be disposed of.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (titles), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Roy Stewart ...
Dennis Wayne
Mary Louise Miller ...
Doris Wayne (the baby)
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Mr. Grimes (as Gustave Von Seyffertitz)
Charlotte Mineau ...
Mrs. Grimes
Spec O'Donnell ...
Ambrose (as 'Spec' O'Donnell)
Lloyd Whitlock ...
Bailey
Billy Butts ...
Monty O'Grady ...
Jack Lavine ...
Billy 'Red' Jones ...
One of the Children (as Billy Jones)
Muriel McCormac ...
One of the Children (as Muriel MacCormac)
Florence Rogan ...
Mary McLain ...
One of the Children (as Mary Frances McLean)
Sylvia Bernard ...
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Storyline

Evil Mr.Grimes keeps a rag-tag bunch orphans on his farm deep in a swamp in the US South. He forces them to work in his garden and treats them like slaves. They are watched over by the eldest, Molly. A gang in league with Mr. Grimes kidnaps Doris, the beautiful little daughter of a rich man, and hides her out on Grimes' farm, awaiting ransom. When the police close in, and Mr. Grimes threatens to throw Doris into the bottomless mire, Molly must lead her little flock out through the alligator-infested swamp. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

swamp | south | rescue | orphan | police | See All (26) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1926 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Scraps  »

Box Office

Budget:

$463,455 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The quicksand was sawdust and cork, ground up, with water. And, it had a bottom to it, so that you couldn't actually go under. Child actor Spec O'Donnell's feet were resting on something solid; he couldn't go further down than his chin. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Shall We Gather at the River?
(1864)
Written by Robert Lowry
Sung by the children
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Child Shall Lead Them
27 April 2008 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

An introduction explains: "The Devil's share in the world's creation was a certain swampland, a masterpiece of horror; and the Lord, appreciating a good job, let it stand." The Devil's swampland is where Mary Pickford (as Molly) lives, with some orphans and a baby. Ms. Pickford has managed to avoid being thrown in the swamp, over the years, and has assumed the role of "Mother" to the young children. They are kept, as "baby farm" slaves, by wicked Gustav von Seyffertitz (as Mr. Grimes). Mr. von Seyffertitz, Charlotte Mineau (as Mrs. Grimes) and Spec O'Donnell (as son Ambrose) make a frightfully wicked family.

Pickford employs too many of the girlish pouts and lip-twisting grimaces to make this one of her best characterizations; playing "Molly" as a young woman of indeterminate age would have been fine (something Pickford would do in her next film, the extraordinary "My Best Girl"). Otherwise, the Pickford persona works. As might be expected, the production is first class. Harry Oliver's swampy set is magnificent. The direction of William Beaudine and photography of Charles Rosher, Hal Mohr, and Karl Struss likewise superb. The too long conclusion is noticeably anti-climatic.

The special effects and editing are still convincing viewers that Pickford and the children were in some kind of danger during the "alligator-infested swamp escape" sequence. In Booten Herndon's "Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks" (1977) Mr. Mohr explains, "There wasn't an alligator within ten miles of Miss Pickford. Do people think we were crazy? I shot that scene myself… It was hard work for all of us, but the only thing those alligators came close to biting was a chunk of horsemeat." Fewer people questioned Pickford's meeting with Jesus Christ, in an earlier scene.

******** Sparrows (5/14/26) William Beaudine ~ Mary Pickford, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Charlotte Mineau, Spec O'Donnell


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