This drama vehicle for Jackie Coogan was released after the success of Charles Chaplin’sThe Kid (1921) and, the producers being no fools, repeats several of the thematic, situational and visual elements of that film.
Directed by Victor Heerman and Chaplin sidekick Albert Austin, My Boy (1921) is a simple tale of a child returning to America by boat, his father dead in France and his mother passing away two days into the Transatlantic journey. Landing at Ellis Island, the boy evades immigration detention and lands in the care of an aging sea bird, Captain Bill (Claude Gillingwater). Meanwhile, the boy’s wealthy grandmother launches a full-scale search for her sole surviving family member. Results are as expected.
Not the artistic achievement of The Kid, My Boy nonetheless gives audiences another satisfying dose of the Coogan charms. — Carl Bennett
Warner Home Video
2004 DVD edition
The Kid (1921), black & white, 50 minutes, not rated,
with My Boy (1921), black & white, 55 minutes, not rated.
Warner Home Video, 37645,
UPC 0-85393-76452-4, ISBN 0-7907-7162-4.
Two single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and 2.0 mono sound, English, Spanish and Portuguese language menus, English language intertitles, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Korean and Thai language subtitles, chapter stops; cardboard wrap with two plastic DVD trays in cardboard slipcase, $29.95.
Release date: 2 March 2004.
Country of origin: USA
This edition of the hardly-seen My Boy has been mastered from a 16mm reduction print in the Blackhawk Films collection held by Film Preservation Associates. The source print is rough, with dust and schmutz, emulsion gouges, speckling, fine scratches and other print wear. Being a reduction print, the image does jitter about the frame, especially when splices run through. Still, the print is reasonably detailed, with a balanced, natural-speed, full-frame video transfer.
The film is presented without an accompanying music soundtrack.
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
200? DVD edition
My Boy (1921), black & white, ? minutes, not rated,
with Players at Play (1929), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.
Reel Classic DVD, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Two single-sided, single-layered, Region 0NTSC DVD-R discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $20.00.
Release date: 200?.
Country of origin: USA
This DVD-R edition has likely been mastered from a 16mm reduction print.
The film is accompanied by a piano score performed by Ben Model.