Just Pals (Ford, 1920)
Don’t worry folks. One of these days I’ll start reviewing movies that might actually be of interest to anyone but me. But until then, humor me. Though besides being silent, Just Pals actually doesn’t feel that old. And anyone who has seen Charles Chaplin’s, The Kid, shouldn’t have any problem enjoying this. While not quite as good (changed my mind, it’s better), Just Pals is still a solid, well-written piece of early cinema. Buck Jones’ performance is great as he plays his character very well. I had no trouble believing he was a dead-beat slacker, and also no trouble believing he had it in him to look after and care for a young boy. The film doesn’t make sweeping generalizations about slackers or about givers; it’s just about a man who happens to be both.
The film’s love story also rings true. Our slacker hero seeks a spoken for school teacher, but unlike other early love stories, it takes a lot for this relationship to actually happen, making it feel more authentic. This is a nice little film, and an enjoyable viewing. 8.5/10