As The World Rolls On

a/k/a The Heart of Jack Johnson

as the world rolls on

Details
Year of Release: 1921
Genre: Drama
Rating: N/A
Runtime:  Unknown
Black & White
Silent
Studio: Andlauer Production Company
Producer: Unknown
Director: Unknown

Cast
Jack Johnson (Himself)
Blanche Thompson (Molly Moran)
Reed Thomas (Joe Walker)
Walter Simpson (Tom Atkins)

Synopsis

Industrious Joe Walker competes for the hand of Molly Moran. Joe’s rival for Molly’s affection is the vicious bully and gang leader Tom Atkins, who enjoys beating up on the weaker, smaller Joe. One day, as Joe is going home from work, his route takes him through a park where Tom and his gang are waiting. Fortunately, former heavyweight champ, Jack Johnson, is also in the park. Hearing Joe’s cries for help, Johnson goes to his aid. After Jack has finished with them, the rowdies lay stretched out on the ground.

Johnson offers to train Joe, convincing him to give up cigarettes and teaching him “physical and breathing exercises.” Under Johnson’s instructions Joe becomes a healthy man and an athlete.

About this time the National Colored League baseball games are in progress at the ball park. In a game between the Kansas City Monarchs and the Detroit Stars (actual scenes) the captain of the Monarchs, sprains his arm and due to illness and injuries to his pitching staff, is in desperate need of a pitcher.  Knowing Joe’s ability as an amateur pitcher, he appeals to Joe to finish the game. Joe agrees, puts on a uniform, pitches a wonderful game and hits the winning home run in the ninth inning.

A few weeks later at the Clover Leaf Club’s annual masquerade ball, Tom, jealous because of the attention Joe is showing Molly, schemes to get Joe out of the way. He has Joe beaten up, but Molly overhears the plot, denounces Tom and rushes to Joe.

Tom, decides on another scheme, and frames Molly for robbery. His plan is successful and Molly is arrested. At the trial a small boy saves Molly from conviction by identifying Tom as the guilty one. Tom tries to escape from the courtroom, but Joe goes after him. Joe catches up with Tom and as a result of the training he received from Jack Johnson is able to beat Tom to the ground.

Later, Joe and Molly get married and go to Johnson’s home for his blessing. Johnson gives them a check for $1,000 as a nest egg. As the world rolls on, six years later Molly, Joe and their family live happily in a pleasant home.

Notes
The working title was The Heart of Jack Johnson.

A New York Times article reported that the film contained “footage of an all-black Kansas team in the background.”  As the World Rolls On featured footage of actual NNL games involving the Kansas City Monarchs, Detroit Stars, and Chicago American Giants. The games are integrated into the plot, and Negro league players, notably Sam Crawford, Bruce Petway, and Cristóbal Torriente, had roles in the film.

This film is believed to be lost.

Source(s): agatetype.typepad.com; TCM.

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In The Depths of Our Hearts

Details:
Year of Release: 1920
Genre:  Drama
Rating: N/A
Runtime: Unknown
Black & White
Silent
Studio: Royal Garden Film Company
Producer: Unknown
Director: Unknown

Cast:
Herman DeLavalade
Augusta Williams
Irene Conn
Virgil Williams
Charles Allen

Synopsis
The mother of a light-skinned Black family raises her children to avoid the company of dark-skinned Blacks. The son, who has a dark-skinned sweetheart, rebels, and his mother sends him away to his uncle’s farm. When he is mistreated, he flees to the city. Later the boy returns home, a prosperous man, and meets up with his former love. In the end he manages to show his mother the error of her ways. Source: TCM.

Notes
This film is considered lost.

Reformation

Details
Year of Release: 1920
Genre: Drama
Rating: N/A
Runtime:  Not Available
Black & White
Silent
Studio: The Loyalty Film Company (f/k/a Democracy Film Corporation)
Director: Captain Leslie T. Peacocke

Cast
Sidney P. Dones (Carter Spencer)
Geraldine Steele (Clarice Penlow)

Synopsis
Carter Spencer has a taste for flirtation, gambling and drinking. He falls in love with choir singer, Clarice Penlow, who disapproves of his wild ways. At the onset of prohibition, Clarice urges Carter to become a Secret Service agent to enforce the new law and he complies out of love.

Notes
The Loyalty Film Co, formerly the Democracy Film Co., included both Whites and Blacks in its management and produced films with Black casts. It is unclear whether this film, its second production, was ever completed or released. Source(s): TCM.

TWO GUN MAN FROM HARLEM

Poster

 THE HARLEM BAD-MAN GOES WEST!

Details
Year of Release: 1938
Genre: Western
Rating: N/A
Runtime: 66 mins.
Black & White
Studio: Merit Pictures
Producer: Richard C. Kahn & Alfred N. Sack
Director: Richard C. Kahn

Cast
Herbert Jeffrey a/k/a Herb Jeffries (Bob Blake/The Deacon)
Margaret Whitten (Sally Thompson)
Clarence Brooks (John Barker)
Mantan Moreland (Bill)
Matthew ‘Stymie’ Beard (Jimmy Thompson)
Spencer Williams, Jr. (Butch Carter)
Mae Turner (Ruth Steel)
Jesse Lee Brooks (The Sheriff)
Rosalie Lincoln (Dolores)
Tom Southern (John Steel)
The Cats and the Fiddle The Four Tones

Synopsis

After hanging out with friends and later spending time with pretty Sally Thompson and her talkative young brother Jimmy, Bob Blake returns to John Steel’s Wyoming ranch, where he works as a cowboy.

Bob Blake

At the ranch, Bob discovers that Steel has been murdered by a man with whom his wife Ruth was having an affair, and whom she refuses to name.  As Bob inspects the body, Ruth substitutes her lover’s gun with Bob’s, and Bob subsequently is accused of the crime by the sheriff.  During the sheriff’s interrogation, Bob’s friend Bill, the ranch cook, turns off the lights, Bob hides, and the sheriff, believing that Bob has escaped, rides off with his men.

Once alone with Bob, Ruth confesses to framing him and insists that he leave the area to avoid arrest.

Ruth tells Bob to leave townBob hitchhikes across the country and eventually arrives in Harlem, where he meets a man known as The Deacon, a killer who was once a preacher and who Bob greatly resembles.

Bob meets the DeaconBob gets the idea to assume a new identity and return to Wyoming disguised as a church elder in order to clear his name.  Bob, now known as The Deacon, allies himself with Butch Carter.  Carter, a miner who has been paid by the well-to-do John Barker, to kidnap and murder Ruth as she knows that Barker killed her husband.

Carter rides to Sally’s ranch, where he forces himself on her.  Bob, who has been told by Jimmy that Sally is being pressured into marrying Barker to avoid foreclosure on their father’s ranch, saves Sally from Carter’s advances.Bob makes Butch pay Sally

Bob cleverly cons Carter into paying Sally two thousand dollars, which she happily gives to Barker to pay off her father’s loan.Sally pays BarkerSoon after, Bob fights with Barker and confers with an angry Ruth, who has been locked in a shed by Carter.  While Jimmy rushes to find the sheriff at Bob’s request, Barker and Carter plot to get rid of The Deacon.  They converge on the old mine where Bob has taken Sally for protection.  While Bob fights with Barker, Bill uses his trusty frying pan to save his friend from Barker’s hired gunman.

Bill saves Bob 2Just as the sheriff arrives, Bob overwhelms Barker and takes the lawman to Ruth, who finally exposes Barker as her husband’s killer.  Bob’s true identity is revealed and he leaves with a smitten Sally.

Sally learns that The Deacon is Bob

Source(s):  Turner Classic Movies; YouTube.