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AKA: Human Sparrows

Country: USA

Genre: Drama



Molly (Mary Pickford) is the eldest of a group of orphans who are the inmates of a "baby farm" in the midst of a Louisiana swamp full of alligators and quicksand, operated by the alarmingly homicidal Mr. Grimes. When the inmates of the baby farm are not being tormented by Grimes' diabolical son Ambrose (a superb performance by Spec O'Donnell) they are being forced to work for their meagre rations. When one of the orphans (Jackie Levine) asks Molly why God isn't helping them, she answers that He will help them if they keep praying, but is just busy watching every sparrow that falls. Things start to go wrong for Grimes when his greed leads him to accept payment for concealing a kidnapped baby whilst the kidnappers seek a ransom. When he realises that the case is all over the papers, he takes fright and decides to chuck the baby in the quicksand to destroy any evidence of his complicity in the kidnapping! Discovering what Grimes is planning, Molly, in desperation, finally decides to escape with all her kids across the alligator-infested swamp...


  • This film was restored by the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center, and the restored version was released by Milestone Film & Video on DVD and blu-ray in 2012 as part of a box set called 'Rags & Riches - Mary Pickford Collection', together with a commentary track by film historians Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta. In 2008, Jeffrey Vance opined that "Sparrows" was Mary Pickford's "most fully realized and timeless work of art. The film’s superb performances, gothic production design, and cinematography all serve a suspenseful, emotionally compelling story anchored by a central performance by Pickford herself imbued with pathos, humor, and charm.”
  • The Profile picture on this page shows Monty O'Grady as 'Splutters', a nickname derived from his stammer. Further screencaps of his role in this film can be found in the Gallery of the actor's Profile page.
Picture for Sparrows


  • Mary Pickford
  • Spec O'Donnell
    (Ambrose Grimes)
  • Monty O'Grady
  • Billy Butts
  • Jackie Levine
  • Billy 'Red' Jones
    (Crippled Orphan Boy)
  • Muriel McCormac
  • Florence Rogan
  • Mary McLain
  • Sylvia Bernard
  • Seessel Anne Johnson
  • Cammilla Johnson
  • Gustav von Seyffertitz
    (Mr. Grimes)
  • Charlotte Mineau
    (Mrs. Grimes)
  • Roy Stewart
    (Dennis Wayne)
  • Lloyd Whitlock
    (Joe Bailey, alias Stone)
  • Mary Louise Miller
    (Doris Wayne, the baby)

BoyActors Reviews

3 member reviews/ratings for this Movie

Average and Weighted Ratings are only available once a Movie has received at least 5 ratings

Most recent review listed first

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My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Bravura performance from Mary Pickford, rivalling her dual role in the wonderful Stella Maris.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Page Last Modified: 27th August 2018
Page Added: 25th August 2018

Page Views: 2031

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