The Village Blacksmith
The Village Blacksmith FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed byJohn Ford
Written byPaul Sloane[1]
Based on"The Village Blacksmith"
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Produced byWilliam Fox
StarringWill Walling
Virginia True Boardman
CinematographyGeorge Schneiderman[2]
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • November 2, 1922 (1922-11-02) (New York)[3]
Running time
8 reels[4] (approx. 80 mins)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Village Blacksmith is a 1922 American silent melodrama[5][6] film directed by John Ford and produced and distributed by Fox Film Corporation. One of the eight reels survives at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and therefore the film is considered to be lost.[7][8] It was loosely adapted from the poem of the same name by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.[3]


Lobby card for the film.
Lobby card for the film.

As young men, the squire (Marshall) and the village blacksmith (Walling) are in love with the same woman (Boardman), whom the blacksmith marries. This angers the squire. Years later, the squire's son Anson (Yearsley) dares the blacksmith's son Johnnie (Hackathorne) to climb a tree, from which he falls and is crippled.

As adults, Anson and the blacksmith's daughter Alice (Valli) fall in love, which angers the blacksmith, who chastises his daughter. The blacksmith's other son Bill (Butler) returns from college and is injured in a train accident. Anson steals $840 from a church fund which is currently in Alice's possession. Alice is struck by lightning. The blacksmith take Anson and the squire to church where they both repent.[5][9][10]


William Walling in the title role
William Walling in the title role


The film was well-received by audiences[11] and by reviewers alike.[4][12][13] The photography was highly praised.[6][14]


  1. ^ Davis 1997, p. 346
  2. ^ Love, Bessie (1977). From Hollywood with Love: An Autobiography of Bessie Love. London: Elm Tree Books. p. 151. OCLC 734075937.
  3. ^ a b "'Village Blacksmith' Premiere Nov 2". The Film Daily. 22 (24): 2. October 25, 1922.
  4. ^ a b "What the Picture Did for Me". Exhibitors Herald. 17 (18): 65. October 27, 1923.
  5. ^ a b "'The Village Blacksmith'—A Picture of Sobs and Suffering". The Film Daily. 22 (42): 5. November 12, 1922.
  6. ^ a b "'Village Blacksmith' Has Prominent Cast". Moving Picture World. 59 (5): 420. December 2, 1922.
  7. ^ Bennett, Carl (May 28, 2016). "Progressive Silent Film List: The Village Blacksmith". Silent Era. Retrieved March 2, 2008.
  8. ^ "The Village Blacksmith". American Silent Feature Film Survival Database. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Reid, Laurence (November 18, 1922). "Reviews of the Latest Features". Motion Picture News: 2549.
  10. ^ a b Sewell, Charles S. (November 18, 1922). "Newest Reviews and Comments". Moving Picture World. 59 (3): 267–8.
  11. ^ Davis 1997, p. 48
  12. ^ Van Buren Powell, A. (February 23, 1924). "Straight from the Shoulder Reports". Moving Picture World. 66 (8): 663.
  13. ^ "Consensus of Published Reviews". Moving Picture World. 59 (6): 570. December 9, 1922.
  14. ^ Van Buren Powell, A. (February 9, 1924). "Straight from the Shoulder Reports". Moving Picture World. 66 (6): 493.
Works cited