Tol'able David

Tol'able David

4.0 1
Director: Henry King, King Vidor

Cast: Henry King, King Vidor, Richard Barthelmess, Gladys Hulette

     
 

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Richard Barthelmess stars in this classic silent melodrama as David Kinemon, the youngest son of a family living in a small West Virginia town. While sweet and good-natured, David is not noted for his mature behavior, and his youthful overenthusiasm causes his mother to tell him, "You're not quite a man yet -- you're only tol'able." But David is forced to grow up and… See more details below

Overview

Richard Barthelmess stars in this classic silent melodrama as David Kinemon, the youngest son of a family living in a small West Virginia town. While sweet and good-natured, David is not noted for his mature behavior, and his youthful overenthusiasm causes his mother to tell him, "You're not quite a man yet -- you're only tol'able." But David is forced to grow up and face responsibilities when a family of outlaws -- Iscah Hatburn (Walter P. Lewis) and his sons Luke (Ernest Torrence) and Little Buzzard (Ralph Yearsley) -- move into town and begin terrorizing the community. The Hatburns' reckless violence causes the death of David's father Hunter (Edmund Gurney) and cripples his brother Alex (Warner Richmond); David is suddenly the head of the family, and he's forced to support his mother and his siblings, take over Alex's mail route, and protect the town from the wrath of the Hatburn Family. Tol'able David was remade as a talkie in 1930 (with Richard Cromwell in the title role), and a clip from the original movie appeared in the classic horror film The Tingler (which is set in part in a theater specializing in silent movies).

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although not the classic of the silent of era that some make it out to be, Tol'Able David is an appealing, folksy little fable that has plenty of charm going for it. Granted, some people may be a bit more immune to its charms than others, and that is understandable: viewers unused to silent movies may not have the patience for David, and those who bristle at tales that take a fairly simple moralistic tone may find David not their cup of tea. But the simplicity of the story has its virtues, making it a nice nostalgic trip to a bygone era that may never have really existed in this exact form but is pleasurable nonetheless. It also helps that director Henry King is able to draw on his own childhood experiences to get many of the details of rural life right. King is in very fine form here, obviously identifying with the material and putting a good deal of heart into the project. Although he's not as innovative with the camera as some other silent directors, his work here is solid and assured. David benefits from a genuinely creepy, if a bit overdone, performance from Ernest Torrence and a quietly effecting one from Gladys Hulette, but it's star Richard Bathelmess that is the film's biggest asset. Unnaturally handsome, Barthelemss was far more than a pretty face, and his sensitive, engaging, nuanced and finely honed performance here is a sheer delight.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/31/2012
UPC:
0089218681294
Original Release:
1921
Source:
Alpha Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[silent]
Sales rank:
47,210

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Barthelmess David Kinemon
Gladys Hulette Esther Hatburn
Walter P. Lewis Iscar Hatburn
Ernest Torrence Luke Hatburn
Ralph Yearsley Luke's Brother
Forrest Robinson Grandpa Hatburn
Lawrence Eddinger Sen. Gault
Edmund Gurney Father
Warner P. Richmond Allen Kinemon
Marion Abbott David's Mother
Harry Hallam The Doctor
Patterson Dial Rose Kinemon
Lassie the Dog Racket, the dog

Technical Credits
Henry King Director,Producer,Screenwriter
King Vidor Director
Henry Cronjager Cinematographer
Edmund Goulding Screenwriter
Duncan Mansfield Editor

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