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Penrod and Sam (1931)

Passed | | 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 »


William Beaudine


Booth Tarkington (story), Waldemar Young (screen play)


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Complete credited cast:
Leon Janney ... Penrod
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Sam (as Junior Coghlan)
Cameo the Dog Cameo the Dog ... Duke (as Cameo)
Margaret Marquis ... Marjorie Jones
Billy Lord Billy Lord ... Georgie Bassett (as Billie Lord)
Michael Stuart Michael Stuart ... Rodney Bitts (as Nestor Aber)
Jimmy Robinson Jimmy Robinson ... Herman Washington (as James Robinson)
Robert Dandridge Robert Dandridge ... Verman Washington (as Robert Dandrige)
Matt Moore ... Henry Schofield
Dorothy Peterson ... Mrs. Schofield
Helen Beaudine Helen Beaudine ... Margaret Schofield
Johnny Arthur ... Mr. Bassett
Zasu Pitts ... Mrs. Bassett
Charles Sellon ... 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


Be a Kid Again Laugh at your youthful pranks! Cry over your broken-hearted romances. Join the old gang again (Print Ad- Niagra Falls Gazette, Niagra Falls NY)) 5 November 1931)


Drama | Comedy


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 October 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Adventures of Penrod and Sam See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In September 1928, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased a majority interest in First National Pictures and from that point on, all "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture" was often used. See more »


Version of Penrod and Sam (1937) See more »


My Country 'Tis of Thee
(1832) (uncredited)
Music attributed to Henry Carey ("God Save the King!") (1744)
Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith (1832)
Sung by the children, Elizabeth Patterson and Charles Sellon at school
See more »

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User Reviews

The Mischief Makers
13 November 2007 | by movingpicturegalSee 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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