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The Prodigal (1931)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 21 February 1931 (USA)
The blacksheep son of a wealthy Southern family returns to his family's plantation after he spends five years on the road as a hobo.


Harry A. Pollard


Bess Meredyth (story "The Southerner"), Wells Root (story "The Southerner") | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview:
Lawrence Tibbett ... Jeffrey Farraday
Esther Ralston ... Antonia Farraday
Roland Young ... Doc aka Somerset Greenman
Cliff Edwards ... Snipe, a Tramp
Purnell Pratt ... Rodman Farraday
Hedda Hopper ... Christine
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Cynthia Farraday
Stepin Fetchit ... Hokey
Louis John Bartels ... George
Theodore von Eltz ... Carter Jerome
Wally Albright ... Peter
Susanne Ransom Susanne Ransom ... Elsbeth
Gertrude Howard Gertrude Howard ... Naomi
John Larkin ... Andrew Jackson Jones


Jeffry Farraday has spent years wandering the country as a hobo, but has now returned to his wealthy Southern family's plantation. His welcome is none too enthusiastic, especially by his sister Catherine. Jeffry's brother Rodman has an unhappy marriage with Antonia, who is carrying on a loveless affair with a man named Carter Jerome. When Antonia decides to leave her husband and go away with Jerome, Jeffry attempts to talk her out of it, but without betraying the fact that he is falling in love with her himself. To avoid disrupting the family, Jeffry decides to return to the road with his hobo pals. But circumstances interfere with his plans. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Mighty Drama of LOVE! That Defied Man-Made Laws! LAWRENCE TIBBETT As you've Always Wanted to See Him- in a Modern Role for the First Time (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express, ((Buffalo, NY)) 2 May 1931)


Musical | Romance








Release Date:

21 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Southerner See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filmed in 1930, released in 1931, after considerable editing. See more »


Remake of Pals First (1918) See more »


Life Is a Dream
Written by Oscar Straus & Arthur Freed
Performed by Lawrence Tibbett
See more »

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User Reviews

What Do You Mean We Can't Make Tibbet A Star?
3 December 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Five years after he had to hot-tail it out of town, Lawrence Tibbet returns with fellow tramps Roland Young and Cliff Edwards. He sings some songs, terrifies Stepin Fetchit and charms the children and Esther Ralston (Yowza!) and worries the men, who fear for their women-folk.

It looks like an attempt to do for Tibbet what The Champ did for Wallace Beery, but Harry Pollard ain't King Vidor. Once Tibbet gets a bath, everyone is clean and neat, especially the darkies down at the meeting house in the swamp who sing about chitlins. Except Roland Young. Of course, I love Young from the late 1930s, but it's nice to see he could do more, as here.

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