Film Guild. Distributed by: W.W.Hodkinson Corp. January 7, 1924. Silent; b&w.35mm. 6 reels, 5,800 ft.
Directed by: Frank Tuttle. Scenario: James Ashmore Creelman. Photographed by: Fred Waller, Jr. Set Design: Junius Crovins.
Cast: Glenn Hunter ("Kid" Hart), Helenka Adamowska (Annie Hart), Roland Young (Houdini Hart), Osgood Perkins (Boris Giovanni Smith), Townsend Martin (Flashy Joe), Clara Bow (Orchid McGonigle), Dore Davidson (Pop Finkel), Martin Broder (Bennie Finkel), Joseph Depew (Tony O'Cohen).
CROOK MELODRAMA: Source: F.Scott Fitzgerald, "Grit" (publication undetermined). Kid Hart, whose gangster father is killed by gang leader Boris Smith for attempting to go straight, is brought up by the same East Side gang. As a result of a childhood firearms accident, he becomes a fear-filled coward, unable to break away, until Orchid McGonigle, another member determined to reform, shows him the way. They effect the rescue of Bennie Finkel from the gang and find happiness together. (Information from "The American Film Institute Catalogue of Feature Films".)
The scene of the story is laid in Hester street...Roland Young has a little bit in the picture, that of "Houdini" Hart, a wire and pick guy on locks, who is trying to turn as square as he possibly can by opening a gin mill, because his wife is about to have a baby. The gang won't stand for it and they bump him off the night that he opens his saloon, which is likewise the night that the "Kid" is born, his mother dying from the shock of the father's death in a shooting scrape. The youngster is planted as a child of fear and at the age of 15 is shown as such, an abject slave in the gang, the head of which is the man who shot his father to death. But there is a girl in the gang, a gamin of the street, who is finally sent to the reformatory for two years. On her release she determines to go straight, a young lady by this time, but the boy warns her that the fate of those who would break from the gang is that which was meted out to his dad. She, in love with the boy, determines to bring out his heritage of manhood and finally succeeds in doing so by taunting him to a degree that he voluntarily submits to a beating at the hands of a bully to discover that it 'doesn't hurt to be hurt.' That steels him for his final task, the killing of the gangster leader, the beating off off his mob and his final winning of the girl.
As to the cast, Glenn Hunter gives an interpretation of the 'fright child' that is a work of art, but it is Clara Bow that lingers in the eye after the picture has gone. The others, except for a little overacting, are passable. Direction at times overdone, lighting bad, and sets--well, just sets."