The Little Red Schoolhouse (March 2, 1936)

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The Little Red Schoolhouse
 

Released on March 2, 1936: A sixteen year old boy from a rural town runs away to the big city and gets involved with gangsters.

Directed by Charles Lamont

The Actors: Frank Coghlan Jr. (Frank Burke), Lloyd Hughes (Owen Rogers), Dickie Moore (Dickie Burke), Ann Doran (Mary Burke), Richard Carle (The Professor, hobo), Ralf Harolde (Pete Scardoni), Frank Sheridan (warden Gail), Matthew Betz (Bill, tough hobo), Kenneth Howell (Schuyler Tree), Sidney Miller (Sidney Levy), Gloria Browne (Shirley), Don Brodie (Ed, Pete's henchman), Lew Davis (henchman), Fred Kelsey (first detective), William Gould (second detective), Broderick O'Farrell (Mr. Tree), Lafe McKee (watchman), Robert McKenzie (Shultz, grocery proprietor), Jack Shutta (tramp), William H. Strauss (Mr. Levy), Muriel Kearney (freckle-faced boy), Stanley Blystone (reformatory guard), Henry Hall (teacher examiner)

 

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Country Boy in the City

In the beginning of this movie about a young rural boy's adventures in the city I heard him reciting The Charge of the Light Brigade, and I could almost recite it with him because of my sister Carol Berkey. I was in grade school and she was in high school and she needed to learn it by heart to recite it in school, just like Frank Coghlan Jr. in this story. As she repeated it out loud at home when she was memorizing it, I learned it also. "Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them . . . " Do kids still learn great poetry and prose today? I'm betting not . . . I'm betting that if I said, 'Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die' . . . no one under thirty would recognize where it was from. Sigh, times sure have changed. But try to discover the way to get to a higher level on the latest computer game and the young kids have me beat six ways from Sunday. Sigh, times sure have changed. But while times change and the methods of operations change, the personalities and the actions of people have changed very little, as this story shows. Yes, some things have changed . . . it isn't as easy for a sixteen year old to run away from home these days. In this story young Frankie Burke from a small rural town thinks that everyone is against him and runs away from home, heading for the big city. No one in his family or at the school thinks much about it . . . police aren't notified about a runaway, posters with pictures are not plastered all over town, no pictures on milk cartons . . . he is just gone, if not forgotten. Back in those days it wasn't really uncommon for kids past the age of 12 or so to leave home for one reason or another and make their own way in the world. 1936 was during the height of the Great Depression and hobos and runaways were as common as Carter's Little Liver pills. 'One less mouth to feed' was the positive spin put on runaways in many households from those days. I guess that some change is good . . . maybe all change is good . . . maybe it is better that kids learn to manipulate computers and gadgets than to recite poetry or prose that they can google for at any time. While I recall the 'good old days' with some nostalgia, I don't think I'd trade a minute of today for an hour of days gone by, but it still gives me immense pleasure to forget about today for a while and watch people from those 'good old days.' Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and enjoy an hour of 1936 adventure before you return to 'today.'

Ann Doran and Lloyd Hughes
Ann Doran and Lloyd Hughes
Ann Doran as schoolteacher Mary Burke
Ann Doran as schoolteacher Mary Burke
Ann Doran in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Ann Doran in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Broderick O'Farrell, and Henry Hall and Ann Doran
Broderick O'Farrell, and Henry Hall and Ann Doran
Dickie Moore and Frank Coghlan Jr.
Dickie Moore and Frank Coghlan Jr.
Dickie Moore as Dickie Burke in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Dickie Moore as Dickie Burke in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Don Brodie and Lew Davis
henchmen Don Brodie and Lew Davis
Emmy Lou Carter in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Emmy Lou Carter in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Frank Coghlan Jr. and Richard Carle
Frank Coghlan Jr. and Richard Carle
Frank Coghlan Jr. and SIdney Miller
Frank Coghlan Jr. and SIdney Miller
Frank Coghlan Jr. as Frankie Burke in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Frank Coghlan Jr. as Frankie Burke in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Frank Coghlan Jr. goes to reformatory
Frank Coghlan Jr. enters the reformatory
Frank Coghlan Jr. in The Little Red Schoolhouse from 1936
Frank Coghlan Jr. in The Little Red Schoolhouse from 1936
Frank Sheridan as the reformatory warden
Frank Sheridan as the reformatory warden
Gloria Browne as little Shirley
Gloria Browne as little Shirley
Kenneth Howell and Frank Coghlan Jr.
Kenneth Howell and Frank Coghlan Jr.
Lafe McKee as the night watchman
Lafe McKee as the night watchman
Lew Davis and Frank Coghlin Jr.
Lew Davis and Frank Coghlin Jr.
Lloyd Hughes and Frank Coghlan Jr.
Lloyd Hughes and Frank Coghlan Jr.
Lloyd Hughes as Owen Rogers in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Lloyd Hughes as Owen Rogers in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Ralph Harolde as gangster Pete Scardoni
Ralph Harolde as gangster Pete Scardoni
Richard Carle and Ralf Harolde
Richard Carle and Ralf Harolde
Richard Carle as the professor in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Richard Carle as the professor in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Robert McKenzie in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Robert McKenzie in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Sidney Miller in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Sidney Miller gets caught reading a detective magazine in The Little Red Schoolhouse
Stanlye Blystone as a reformatory guard
Stanlye Blystone as a reformatory guard