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» » Those Boys! (1909)

Short summary

Two boys find a pistol their father has hidden. While they're playing with it, they line up a target, not realizing their sisters are on the other side of the door. The parents realize the gun is missing and avert the disaster.
Two boys find a pistol their father has hidden. While they're playing with it, they line up a target, not realizing their sisters are on the other side of the door. The parents realize the gun is missing and avert the disaster.

Released as a split reel along with The Criminal Hypnotist (1909).

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Flas
    I saw this short drama at the 1998 Cinema Muto festival in Pordenone; they screened a print from the Library of Congress with the original intertitles missing.

    The title "Those Boys!" and the short running time (133 feet) led me to expect that this would be a comedy. When the mother of the large family puts her husband's pistol into a desk drawer, I still thought this would be a comedy -- an edgy one -- involving firearms. The family's two boys, who have been out playing at archery, find the pistol and load it(!). Meanwhile, their three sisters are playing in the attic. Believing themselves alone, the boys hang their archery target on the attic door for some pistol practice, unaware that their sisters are directly behind the thin door. SPOILERS COMING. Fortunately the resourceful family maid discovers that the pistol is missing, and...

    I take gun safety very seriously. The media occasionally report real cases of disaster after a child finds the family firearm; invariably, this turns out to be in households where nobody has bothered to learn the NRA safety procedures. I was intrigued to see that this topic was a concern back in 1909. This movie also reminded me of the real-life case of James Thurber; as a boy, he lost an eye when his older brother got stupid with an archery set.

    Concerning the fictional parents in this film, I'm tempted to say that anyone who's stupid enough to leave handguns and ammunition where children can get at them deserves whatever happens ... but it's usually the children who get hurt, not the idiots who failed to learn gun safety.

    I was also intrigued to see Florence Lawrence -- the first movie star -- in this film, cast as the maid rather than the wife. Lawrence is technically the heroine here, yet her role is subordinate to Anita Hendrie's as the wife. Was Hendrie considered a more popular actress than Lawrence in 1909? I think not, but I might be mistaken. My rating for this one is 7 out of 10. Lock and load!
  • comment
    • Author: Drelahuginn
    Although I appreciate the 34 year old D.W. Griffith's nurturing of cinematic language, I think it was to the neglect of his character development which is why he is misunderstood and has caused a stir in the past. This 4 minute wonder is a prime example.
  • Credited cast:
    Anita Hendrie Anita Hendrie - The Mother
    Linda Arvidson Linda Arvidson - A Daughter
    Dorothy West Dorothy West - A Daughter
    Florence Lawrence Florence Lawrence - The Maid
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Clara T. Bracy Clara T. Bracy
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