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The Call of Youth (1921)


The Call of Youth was the second Famous Players-Lasky British production.

It was directed by Hugh Ford and based on the story James the Fogey by Henry Arthur Jones. The scenario was written by Eve Unsell and the intertitle cards were designed by Alfred Hitchcock.

The film starred Mary Glynne, Marjorie Hume, Jack Hobbs, Malcolm Cherry, Ben Webster and Gertrude Sterroll.

Principal Photography

The film was made between August and October 1920.[1]

According to newspaper adverts, The Call of Youth included scenes shot on location in the Devonshire towns of Dawlish and Teignmouth. Other reported filming locations included Lynmouth and Lynton.[1]

Release & Reception

The film was given a trade show in November 1920, along with The Great Day, and released the following year.

The review in Varity praised the outdoor scenes but felt the film lacked vitality.[2]

U.K. Release

The following screening dates appeared in British local newspapers:

  • 13-15/Apr/1922 — Pentridge Cinema, Oxford Road, Burnley[3]
  • 27-29/Apr/1922 — The Picture House, Commercial Road, Portsmouth[4]
  • 04-06/May/1922 — Electric Theatre, Grace Hill, Folkestone[5]
  • 08-10/May/1922 — The Picture House, Briggate, Leeds[6]
  • 11-13/May/1922 — Central Picture House, Prospect Street, Hull[7]
  • 22-24/May/1922 — King's, Sunderland[8]
  • 29(-31?)/May/1922 — Rialto, Beverley Road, Hull[9]
  • 09-10/Jun/1922 — Apollo Theatre, Albert Road, Portsmouth[10]
  • 15-17/Jun/1922 — King's Hall, Biggin Street, Dover[11]
  • 26-28/Jun/1922 — The Picture House, Silverhill, Hastings, East Sussex[12]
  • 07-08/Jul/1922 — White Hall, Derby[13]
  • 12/Jul/1922 — Hillcrest Picture House, Harehills Lane, Leeds[14]
  • w/c 24/Jul/1922 — Strand Kinema, Lake Road, Portsmouth[15]
  • 08-09/Aug/1922 — The Palace, Baldwin Street, Bristol[16]
  • 25/Aug/1922 — Her Majesty's, Dundee[17]
  • 14-16/Sep/1922 — Empire, Parkend Road, Gloucester[18]
  • 28-29/Sep/1922 — Alhambra, "Near the Mitre", Burnley[19]
  • 12-14/Oct/1922 — The Picture House, Grantham[20]
  • 11-12/Nov/1922 — Picture House, High Street, Whitstable[21]
  • 04-06/Dec/1922 — Palace Theatre, James Street, Arbroath[22]


Following completion of the film, director Hugh Ford returned to America, leaving the film industry to concentrate on producing stage shows.[1] He spoke about his experiences in England to the Exhibitors Herald trade paper:[23]

The weather was rather uncertain. Photographic days, as we know them in this country, are scarce. This makes it necessary for a director to add another week to the time it would normally take him to make a picture and he has to gauge his work in such a manner that each day he is in a position to take either exteriors or in-interiors, switching from one to the other according to the weather.

It will be necessary to develop British talent. Heretofore the cinema has been looked upon as a side line by the leading actors of the day. Possibly this is because of the slow development of the British producing companies on account of the war. This will have to be remedied and can be if they develop their own producing units. At the same time, new talent can be developed.

The locations available are ideal. It is possible for a company to go on location to the South of France or to the Alps with no more trouble than to go from New York to Florida. The natural beauty of Britain cannot be overlooked.

Getting started was good, hard work. It was particularly difficult to get the talent for the extra work, which was only accomplished after making a tour of the plays the night before and engaging them for the next day. We received great cooperation from the labor employed to assist us in designing, decorating, building and lighting of sets. I believe that with a combination of British thoroughness and American ingenuity the pictures will exceed our expectations.

See Also...


Notes & References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 London's Hollywood: The Gainsborough Studio in the Silent Years (2014) by Gary Chapman
  2. Variety (17/Dec/1920) - The Call of Youth
  3. Reported in the Burnley News (12/Apr/1922).
  4. Reported in the Portsmouth Evening News (26/Apr/1922).
  5. Reported in the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald (29/Apr/1922).
  6. Reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post (08/May/1922).
  7. Reported in the Hull Daily Mail (10/May/1922).
  8. Reported in the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette (24/May/1922).
  9. Reported in the Hull Daily Mail (26/May/1922). It's unclear from the newspaper if the film only ran on Monday 29th or through to Wednesday 31st.
  10. Reported in the Portsmouth Evening News (09/Jun/1922).
  11. Reported in Dover Express (09/Jun/1922)
  12. Reported in Hastings and St Leonards Observer (24/Jun/1922).
  13. Reported in the Derby Daily Telegraph (04/Jul/1922).
  14. Reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post (12/Jul/1922).
  15. Reported in the Portsmouth Evening News (22/Jul/1922) and Portsmouth Evening News (25/Jul/1922).
  16. Reported in the Western Daily Press (08/Aug/1922).
  17. Reported in the Dundee Courier (25Aug/1922).
  18. Reported in the Gloucestershire Chronicle (09/Sep/1922) and Gloucestershire Chronicle (16/Sep/1922).
  19. Reported in the Burnley News (27/Sep/1922).
  20. Reported in the Grantham Journal (07/Oct/1922).
  21. Reported in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald (11/Nov/1922).
  22. Reported in the Arbroath Herald and Advertiser (01/Dec/1922).
  23. Exhibitors Herald (06/Nov/1920) - Hugh Ford Back in U.S. After Directing Two Paramount Films in England