2 user

A Small Town Idol (1921)

Passed | | Action, Comedy, Romance | 13 February 1921 (USA)
Sam, a young man in a small town, is accused of being a thief. Unable to prove his innocence--and not knowing that he's being framed by a local villain to keep him away from pretty young ... See full summary »


John Grey, Raymond Griffith (as Ray Griffith) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview:
Ben Turpin ... Sam Smith
James Finlayson ... J. Wellington Jones
Phyllis Haver ... Mary Brown
Bert Roach ... Martin Brown
Al Cooke ... Joe Barnum
Charles Murray ... Sheriff Wilbur Sparks (as Charlie Murray)
Marie Prevost ... Marcelle Mansfield
Dot Farley ... Mrs. Smith
Eddie Gribbon ... Bandit Chief
Kalla Pasha Kalla Pasha ... Bandit Chief's Rival
Billy Bevan ... Director
George O'Hara ... Cameraman
John J. Richardson ... Screen Villain (as Jack Richardson)
Louise Fazenda ... Theatregoer
Lige Conley ... Minister (as Lige Crommie)


Sam, a young man in a small town, is accused of being a thief. Unable to prove his innocence--and not knowing that he's being framed by a local villain to keep him away from pretty young Mary, the town beauty whom the villain wants for himself--he leaves town and goes to Hollywood to become an actor. He eventually returns home to town as a star, but once again finds himself the victim of the town villain, who this time abducts sweet young Mary. Sam must use all his acting skills to track down the villain and save Mary. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Comedy that will put dimples in the cheeks of the world (Print Ad- Bakersfield Californian, ((Bakersfield Calif.)) 16 April 1921) See more »


Action | Comedy | Romance








Release Date:

13 February 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1938-1939 season) (#19): A Small Town Idol See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mack Sennett Comedies See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Edited into A Small Town Idol (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Missing In Action
30 June 2014 | by redryan64See all my reviews

QUITE FRANKLY, WE must confess to never having seen the entire, original 70 minute feature version of this Mack Sennett Keystone Production of A SMALL TOWN IDOL. Is there anyone out there in cyberspace who has screened the whole thing?

WE SUPPOSE THAT it is either very unfair or even impossible to review a movie which is only a fraction of what it was originally. The approximately 19 minutes we have just seen does an excellent job of telling a coherent story, providing its star, Mr. Ben Turpin an excellent environment in which to do his cockeyed thing. The highly abridged short version, which was released in 1939, does stand on its own.

SOMEHOW OR OTHER the rights to this film passed into the hands of Harry, Albert Sam and Jack- the Brothers Warner and was released to the movie houses as part of their regular supply of two-reelers. Thus Ben Turpin, Charley Murray, Louise Fazenda, Dot Farley, Jimmie Finlayson, Andy Clyde and the famous Sennett Bathing Beauties all joined forces with the likes of the JOE McDOAKES Series in filling out the programs.

WE HAD ANOTHER, previous exposure to A SMALL TOWN IDOL. That would be with the 8mm home movies that were so popular , up until the late 1970's. That period, of course, marked the coming of the Betamax and the VHS Home Recorder/Players; which rendered the old 8mm & Super 8 projectors obsolete.

WE HAD PURCHASED this version at our local Sears, Roebuck & Co. store, located at 62nd & Western Avenue. That Southside Chicago location was the sight of many such movie items we bought, back in the day.

EVEN AT THAT period, lacking a lot of experience and knowledge about film, we thought that there was something strange about that one reel home movie version. At first, we couldn't put our finger on it; but then it came to us! There were to many extras, to complex a plot, to many and too lavish a set to be devoted to a 2 Reel Comedy Short! It was 'elementary, Watson!' This version was only a snippet of a feature film.

ONE PECULIAR FACT about these versions of A SMALL TOWN IDOL is the way that it bills silent film star, Ramon Navarro. In the original cast listings, he doesn't rate a mention, remaining uncredited. The 1939 'Short' was much kinder, showing him as being as a principal player; instead of having taken part in a brief, 'movie within a movie', dance ensemble.

THIS REMINDS US of how Rudolph Valentino was 'discovered' doing that famous Tango in THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE.

HOW"S THAT FOR a strange coincidence?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed