×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Tol'able David
     

Tol'able David

4.0 1
Director: Henry King, King Vidor, Richard Barthelmess, Gladys Hulette

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

 

See All Formats & Editions

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

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).

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:
46,923

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Tol'able David 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
cinemafan More than 1 year ago
As a starring vehicle for Richard Barthelmess, TOL'ABLE DAVID" (1921) proved to be the role by which all of his other silent film appearances were to be judged. The silent screen star had already made his mark in a number of pictures, including D.W. Griffith's BROKEN BLOSSOMS (1919) and WAY DOWN EAST (1920), but TOL'ABLE DAVID cemented his place in the mind of early film-goers as as actor of depth and quiet intelligence. As young David Kinemon, Barthelmess matures on screen from a playful youth chasing after the dog that stole his pants at the swimming hole to the man determined to bring justice to his family and honor to the task given to him to deliver the mail in a rural hollow in Virginia. Filmed on location (with interiors shot in New York), the shacks and dusty roads are as much a part of the story as the characters inhabiting "Greenstream." All is well in this peaceful community until three outlaws take over a relative's home and cause trouble for the Kinemon family. This 20th Century retelling of the David and Goliath story ends with a fierce knock down and drag out fight between David and the outlaws. This is not a hero who pumps up and prepares to challenge the men who ruined his family. When David goes after Luke Hatburn, he attacks him like a junk-yard dog in a fight that looks as real as anything put in more modern films. Audiences today must be willing (as with most silent films) to work with the more "hokey" elements of this film, but they will be rewarded with a memorable look at vanished America. Based on a novel by Joseph Hergesheimer, directed by Henry King (SONG OF BERNADETTE, 1943, CAPTAIN FROM CASTILLE, 1947) and photographed by Henry Cronjager. This dvd includes a 1977 interview with director, Henry King, and a score compiled and composed by Robert Israel.