7 user 2 critic

Penrod and Sam (1931)

Unrated | | Drama, Comedy | 3 October 1931 (USA)
Two mischievous schoolboys, Penrod and Sam, are constantly in trouble at school. They start their own club, the In-Or-In club, of which they are the only members. Two of their schoolmates, ... See full summary »



(story), (screen play)


Complete credited cast:
Sam (as Junior Coghlan)
Cameo the Dog ...
Duke (as Cameo)
Marjorie Jones
Billy Lord ...
Georgie Bassett (as Billie Lord)
Michael Stuart ...
Rodney Bitts (as Nestor Aber)
Jimmy Robinson ...
Herman Washington (as James Robinson)
Robert Dandridge ...
Verman Washington (as Robert Dandrige)
Henry Schofield
Mrs. Schofield
Helen Beaudine ...
Margaret Schofield
Mr. Bassett
Mrs. Bassett
Mr. Bitts


Two mischievous schoolboys, Penrod and Sam, are constantly in trouble at school. They start their own club, the In-Or-In club, of which they are the only members. Two of their schoolmates, Georgie and Rodney, want to get into the club but are not allowed because they're always ratting out Penrod and Sam to the adults, and getting them in trouble. However, George's father complains to Penrod's father about it, who tells Penrod that they must admit the two boys. Penrod and Sam decide that if they're being forced to accept the two stool pigeons, they'll make them pay for it. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Comedy


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Adventures of Penrod and Sam  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #4993-5000 and #4978 (trailer) See more »


Version of Penrod and Sam (1923) See more »


Minuet in G
(1796) (uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played as dance music at the birthday party
See more »

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User Reviews

The Mischief Makers
13 November 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Nicely filmed version of the Booth Tarkington novel, done with loads of charm. About a small town boy named Penrod and his adventures with his best pal/sidekick Sam - school scenes, a birthday party, touching scenes between Penrod and his dog Duke, the kids putting on a circus with Penrod as "ringmaster", and lots of stuff about the boys and their gang of kids who have this secret club - the In-Or-In lodge ("Independent Order of Infidelity" for those in the know) held in a shack in the neighboring vacant lot. This secret society's activities include some pretty brutal "initiations" for new members - of course, no girls allowed seems to be the policy too. One amusing scene features Penrod, having stolen his older sister's "love letter" to hand in for his school letter writing assignment, forced to read it aloud in front of the class as his own work. There is also a minor love interest for Penrod in the form of little Marjorie, a girl with a big case of "puppy love" when it comes to Penrod - he seems completely indifferent as he ends up in a sort of junior love triangle between him, the girl, and Sam.

I really enjoyed this film a lot - it's sentimental, yet funny and heartwrenching too. It is very nicely photographed with lots of sunshine and real small town houses and streets. The film seemed to me a sort of cross between "Our Gang" and "Andy Hardy" films. The child actors in this are all excellent - Leon Janney as Penrod gives a particularly likable and memorable performance here. Zasu Pitts and Johnny Arthur add some humor as the mother and effeminate father of Georgie, a boy who the kids don't like because, as one of them puts it "he's a big pansy". I also enjoyed seeing Elizabeth Patterson, later "Mrs. Trumbull" on "I Love Lucy", as the school teacher. I really found this film to be a delightful treat - highly recommended.

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