MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,855 this week

Sparrows (1926)

 -  Drama  -  1926 (Germany)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 697 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 21 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 »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 22 Mar 2011
 
list image
a list of 40 titles
created 26 Oct 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 09 Jan 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Sparrows" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Sparrows (1926)

Sparrows (1926) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Sparrows.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Scarlet Dawn (1932)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Russian aristocrat and his servant girl escape to Turkey during the revolution.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Nancy Carroll, Lilyan Tashman
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

One of the most important images of the Czech New Wave 60s, which was ranked among the top ten domestic films of all time. Feature debut screenwriter and director Ivan Passer is currently ... See full summary »

Director: Ivan Passer
Stars: Zdenek Bezusek, Karel Blazek, Miroslav Cvrk
Certificate: Passed Short | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

George Washington, commander of revolutionary American forces, ends a squabble among the colonies as to under which flag the Americans will fight the British by recommending a new flag for ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Maude
Stars: Francis X. Bushman, Enid Bennett, Johnnie Walker
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A ruthless college student resorts to murder in a futile attempt to marry an heiress.

Director: Gerd Oswald
Stars: Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Virginia Leith
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man who lived his life as he was was told he should, not as he would have chosen to, is brought out of his shell by a beautiful young woman.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Robert Young, Ruth Hussey
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After having a child out of wedlock, a young Puritan woman is pressured to reveal the name of her lover.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B. Walthall
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Middle-aged dentist Biff Grimes reminisces about his unrequited love for beautiful Virginia Brush and her husband Hugo, his ex-friend, who betrayed him.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: Gary Cooper, Fay Wray, Frances Fuller
The Vintage (1957)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Brothers Giancarlo and Ernesto Barandero have crossed illegally from Italy into France. Older Giancarlo is the practical protector, while younger Ernesto is the sensitive idealist albeit ... See full summary »

Director: Jeffrey Hayden
Stars: Pier Angeli, Mel Ferrer, John Kerr
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young widow and her son on an isolated ranch find themselves being protected by a wild stallion.

Director: R.G. Springsteen
Stars: George Montgomery, Diane Brewster, Edgar Buchanan
Scarlet Pages (1930)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Nora Mason becomes entangled in a family mix-up of murder and scandal that threatens to ruin her career and entire future; Unless the mother she does not know can find a way to save her.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Elsie Ferguson, Marian Nixon, John Halliday
Scarlet River (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Unable to find open range near Hollywood, western actor Tom Baxter and his troop head to Judy Blake's ranch to shoot their film. Tom soon learns her foreman has been rustling and poisoning ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Brower
Stars: Tom Keene, Dorothy Wilson, Roscoe Ates
Sparrows (1916)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Maurits Binger
Stars: Annie Bos, Lola Cornero, Pierre Perin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Molly
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 ...
One of the children
Monty O'Grady ...
One of the Children
Jack Lavine ...
One of the Children
Billy 'Red' Jones ...
One of the Children (as Billy Jones)
Muriel McCormac ...
One of the Children (as Muriel MacCormac)
Florence Rogan ...
One of the Children
Mary McLain ...
One of the Children (as Mary Frances McLean)
Sylvia Bernard ...
One of the Children
Edit

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 more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although William Beaudine received critical acclaim both inside and outside the film industry for his direction of this film, for many years a story circulated that star Mary Pickford felt that he was too cavalier about the safety of the actors, especially in a scene where she had to carry a baby across some water filled with alligators (Pickford wanted to use a doll, but Beaudine insisted on using a real baby), and even though the alligators' jaws were bound shut, Pickford swore that he would never work for her or her company as long as she lived. However, cameraman Hal Mohr, who shot this picture, said in an interview that the "alligator incident" never happened. He said that there "wasn't an alligator within ten miles" of Pickford, and that both the alligators and the baby in the film were all dummies because the studio would never have let a star of Pickford's magnitude endanger herself by working with real alligators, let alone allow a baby to go near them. In any case, Beaudine and Pickford did clash on the picture. Beaudine eventually walked off the set and turned the direction over to his assistant, and he and Pickford never worked together again. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Nice Gift From the Past for Lemony Snickett Fans
28 June 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

United Artists in the mid-1920's stood outside the motion picture industry's block booking system. It owned no theaters and did not have enough films to offer them in blocks. This meant each of the UA producers (Griffith, Fairbanks, Chaplin, and Pickford) had to finance each film individually; not an easy thing with the rising costs of producing long features. While Griffith was digging himself into a big hole (which would ultimately cost him his production company) making epic films and trying to top his early successes, Pickford prudently operated on a smaller scale. The irony being that she produced the type of folksy stuff that Griffith had once done so well and so profitably.

"Sparrows" was her last appearance as a teenager; her choice because even in her thirties she would have been physically believable in these roles for a couple more years. Most often described as "Dickensian" because of its gloomy feel and slightly off-kilter production design, "Sparrows" is the original "Series of Unfortunate Events". It is regarded as the least dated of her pictures (maybe of all silents), fitting because it does not seem at all dated. Even the humor seems contemporary with little Molly misquoting bible verses with stuff like: "Let not thy right cheek know what thy left cheek is getting".

"Sparrows" is also more perennially appealing than any silent film. In fact you have to go all the way until 1933's "It Happened One Night" to actually supplant it. But it is a serious subject as baby farms are a historical fact and wealthy parents had reasons to fear kidnapping. The kidnapping in "Sparrows" has an eerie similarity to that of the Lindbergh baby, which would not take place until seven years "after" the film.

The "look" of the film reflects the German expressionist style and should delight Lemony Snicket fans and anyone who gets off on creepy-strange beauty. Set designer Harry Oliver "aged the tree stumps with blowtorches, and the entire picture has that netherworld quality of a slightly stylized environment that could only be created in a movie studio". Watch for the early scene where the baby farm operator crushes the little doll and drops it into the quicksand where it slowly disappears.

You also see a lot of Pickford's technique in Hal Roach's "Little Rascals". Check out the sequence when Little Splutters is leaving and his imprisoned friends are waving goodbye from inside the barn, by passing their hands through the slats. In fact Spec O'Donnell, who plays nasty stepson Ambrose, would later be a Roach regular. He is responsible for the film's first big laugh when he beans Molly with a turnip while she is trying to get the baby to stop crying. It is totally unexpected and even the baby finds it funny.

Also of note is the dream sequence where Jesus comes to take the baby to heaven. Modern special effects could not improve on what they got using a simple matte exposure process. A similar technique worked so well with the swamp scenes that a legend grew up that Pickford and the children were actually at risk from the live alligators used in the scenes. Probably no silent managed a more genuinely suspenseful sequence than when they are crossing a rotting tree limb which is slowly cracking and dipping toward the water full of hungry alligators.

Gustav von Seyffertitz does great as the evil Mr. Grimes (an early Snidley Whiplash) and is one of the best bad guys to come out of the silent era.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
80 years later !!! cannescrwrtr
Disney should animate story georgestrum
It's an early version (a pre-make??) of.. rayincumbria
Discuss Sparrows (1926) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?