Classic Poverty Row Double Feature: Barefoot Boy/The Old Swimmin' Hole [DVD]

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Barefoot Boy
Barefoot Boy is a throwback to the sort of bucolic family fare in which Monogram Pictures specialized in the early 1930s. Loosely inspired by the John Greenleaf Whittier poem of the same name, the film stars Jackie Moran as Billy Whittaker, a country lad whose idyllic lifestyle is thrown into confusion upon the arrival of arrogant reform-school graduate Kenneth Hale (Bradley Metcalf). Not only does Kenneth tear down everything that Billy holds dear, but he also has the audacity to make a play for Billy's sweetheart Pige Blaine (Marcia Mae Jones). Eventually Kenneth reforms his ways and becomes a "regular guy", but not without a bit of bare-knuckle persuasion from Billy and a brief escapade involving a gang of out-of-town bond swindlers. The film was directed by Karl Brown, a former cinematographer with an unerring eye for gorgeous exterior shots. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Old Swimmin' Hole
Longtime "Our Gang" director Robert McGowan wielded the megaphone for the laid-back Monogram drama Old Swimming Hole. Jackie Moran and Marcia Mae Jones, whom the studio was hoping to develop into a screen team, star as Chris and Betty, bucolic sweethearts who hope to play matchmaker for Chris' mother (Leatrice Joy) and Betty's father (Charles Brown). Another plotline concerns Chris' hopes of attending medical school, which may not happen due to his family's lack of funds. After taking it easy for several reels, the film wraps up with an exciting climax wherein one of the main characters is rescued from drowning. Old Swimming Hole was based on a story by Dorothy Davenport Reid, widow of silent-screen favorite Wallace Reid. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Jackie Moran
    Jackie Moran - Billy Whittaker
  • Marcia Mae Jones
    Marcia Mae Jones - Pige Blaine
  • Claire Windsor
    Claire Windsor - Valerie Hale
  • Charles D. Brown
    Charles D. Brown - Calvin Whittaker
  • Image coming soon
    Helen MacKellar - Martha Whittaker

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