6.6/10
300
4 user 3 critic

Just Pals (1920)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Western | 21 November 1920 (USA)
Small-town tramp befriends runaway boy.

Director:

John Ford (as Jack Ford)

Writers:

John McDermott (story), Paul Schofield (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Buck Jones ... Bim
Helen Ferguson ... Mary Bruce
Georgie Stone ... Bill (as George Stone)
Duke R. Lee Duke R. Lee ... Sheriff
William Buckley William Buckley ... Harvey Cahill
Eunice Murdock Moore Eunice Murdock Moore ... Mrs. Stone
Bert Appling Bert Appling ... Brakeman
Edwin B. Tilton Edwin B. Tilton ... Dr. Stone (as Edwin Booth Tilton)
Slim Padgett Slim Padgett ... Outlaw
John B. Cooke John B. Cooke ... Constable
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Storyline

Bim is the town ne'er-do-well, lazy and shiftless, living a catch-as-catch-can existence. He feels no shame about his tattered clothing and seems impervious to the derision and ridicule he endures from his fellow citizens in his rural, early 20th Century village. Despite this, Bim is a kind-hearted soul, and that becomes very apparent when he rescues a young runaway from a beating by a railroad cop at the expense of being beaten himself. Young Bill reciprocates Bim's kindness and has to endure taunting and abuse from the school bully to defend his 'pal.' Bim wants Bill to rise above his station and encourages him to bathe and attend the town's modest one-room schoolhouse presided over by pretty schoolmarm Mary Bruce. She is being courted by the outwardly respectable bank clerk Harvey Cahill, who has embezzled funds from his employer and ungallantly presses the kind-hearted Mary into lending him the school memorial fund money she is entrusted with to cover the shortfall for the bank ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1920 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amici per la pelle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was John Ford's first picture with Fox Films after his contract with Universal Pictures expired. See more »

Goofs

When Bim is on the porch talking to Cahill, the lighting on Bim's right side medium close-ups and left-side close-ups do not match. See more »

Quotes

Bim: [Looking at the town gossips talking about Bill and him] If talk was a breeze, kid, that bunch would be a cyclone.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite watchable
13 March 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This early John Ford film earns a 7, but that is relative to other films of the day. If you were comparing it to any film--such as a drama of the 30s or 40s, a score of 5 is probably more appropriate.

The film is about a town bum played by Buck Jones. He's a decent man, but also a guy with absolutely no drive in life. He's content to avoid work and sleep as much as possible. Only when a cute kid blows into town (George Stone) does he begin to show signs that he can be a responsible and productive citizen. That's because, for the sake of the kid, he's willing to settle down a bit and mend his ways.

The film is charming and watchable since the print quality is so good (a rarity in older silents) and the direction is so amiable. But, it also bogs down a bit with the simplistic story and dumb ending--it's very, very contrived. Satisfying to audiences of the time, perhaps. But also completely tough to take today--it all just seems ridiculously too perfect when the film is complete.

By the way, the George Stone who plays the kid is NOT the George E. Stone who played a supporting actor in tons of films in the 30s and 40s (particularly for Columbia Pictures).


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