Breaking the Ice (September 22, 1938)
Released on September 22, 1938: (running time 1 hour and 20 minutes) Bobby Breen is a young Mennonite boy from near Philadelphia who runs away from home to find his fortune.
Produced by Sol Lesser
Directed by Edward F. Cline
Written by Fritz Falkenstein, Brewster Morse, Mary C. McCall Jr., Manuel Seff and Bernard Schubert
The Actors: Bobby Breen (Tommy Martin), Charles Ruggles (Samuel 'Swapin' Sam' Terwilliger), Dolores Costello (Martha Martin), Irene Dare (Irene Dare, herself, five-year-old ice skating performer), Robert Barrat (William Decker), Dorothy Peterson (Annie Decker), John 'Dusty' King (Henry Johnson), Billy Gilbert (Mr. Small), Margaret Hamilton (Mrs. Small), Charles Murray (janitor), Jonathan Hale (Mr. Kane), Delmar Watson (Reuben Johnson), Spencer Charters (farmer Smith), Cy Kendall (Mr. Judd), Maurice Cass (Mr. Jones), Lloyd Ingraham (Judd's office clerk)
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The Mennonite Runaway, The Missing Money, and The Land of Goshen
William Penn, the son of Sir William Penn, was born in 1644. Sir William Penn, a Royal Navy Admiral of great fame, and politician in the House of Commons, was owed a great sum of money from the King Charles II. Sir William Penn’s son was a religious rebel, who met George Fox, the founder of the pacifist Quaker religion, and became a devout Quaker, writing pamphlets that condemned the Catholic Church, the Church of England, and every religion except the Quaker religion.
In 1668 he was imprisoned in the Tower of London by the Bishop of London, forced to stay in prison until he would publicly renounce his beliefs and embrace the Church of England. Young William Penn boldly said, "My prison shall be my grave before I will budge a jot: for I owe my conscience to no mortal man." After eight months in London Tower Prison he was released.
Two years later, while his father was dying at the age of 45, young William Penn found himself in jail again, as Quakers were being arrested and having their land confiscated. His dying father paid his bail so that he could see his young son one last time. His father was so impressed with his son’s courage and convictions that he told his son, “Let nothing in this world tempt you to wrong your conscience.”
To rid England of the young religious rebel, King Charles II repaid his debt to the family by giving young William a large tract of forest-covered land in the New World, which became known as ‘Penn’s Woods,” or Pennsylvania. William Penn immediately invited all people of Europe who were experiencing religious persecution to come to his land in the New World. Families could claim a piece of land by just paying surveyor’s fees, and live and worship in any way that they pleased. Jacob Bergi, my ancestor from Switzerland, accepted this offer and settled in what is now Berks County, Pennsylvania.
In this story, a young Mennonite boy living outside Philadelphia in 1938 runs away from his farm home to earn money in the big city of Philadelphia so that he and his widowed mother can move to Goshen and begin a new life. Unfortunately, as he is leaving home, some money disappears, and he is accused of stealing it when he ran away. His bond to the family is broken, and he may never be accepted at home again, unless the missing money is found. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Bobby Breen, Delmar Watson
Charles Ruggles, Bobby Breen
Charles Ruggles, Jonathan Hale
Cy Kendall, Dolores Costello
Delmar Watson, Dolores Costello
Dolores Costello, Bobby Breen
Dolores Costello, John 'Dusty' King
John 'Dusty' King
RObert Barrat, Bobby Breen, John King
Robert Barrat, Dorothy Peterson
Robert Barrat, John 'Dusty' King