A Poor Relation

A Poor Relation is a 1921 American silent comedy film directed by Clarence G. Badger and written by Bernard McConville. It is based on the play A Poor Relation by Edward E. Kidder. The film stars Will Rogers, Sylvia Breamer, Wallace MacDonald, Sidney Ainsworth, George B. Williams, and Molly Malone. The film was released in December 1921, by Goldwyn Pictures.[1][2][3]

A Poor Relation
Will Rogers in A Poor Relation
Directed byClarence G. Badger
Screenplay byBernard McConville
Based onA Poor Relation
by Edward E. Kidder
StarringWill Rogers
Sylvia Breamer
Wallace MacDonald
Sidney Ainsworth
George B. Williams
Molly Malone
CinematographyMarcel Le Picard
Distributed byGoldwyn Pictures
Release date
  • December 1921 (1921-12)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[4] shabby and lovable old inventor Noah Vale (Rogers) shares his attic room with Rip (DeVilbiss) and Patch (Trebaol), two orphans he has befriended. His lifetime ambition is centered in an invention he has slaved to perfect. In the meantime he tries to keep Rip, Patch, and himself from starving by selling copies of The Decline and Fall of Rome door to door. He is dispossessed and Scallops (Malone), a neighbor's child, gives them shelter. Vale has a distant relative, a wealthy manufacturer by the name of Fay (Williams), and when he writes him for aid in putting the invention to market, Fay's daughter (Breamer) takes a deep interest in the case. Fay's partner Sterrett (Ainsworth) tries to steal a model of the invention, but returns it when he finds that it is worthless. Johnny Smith (MacDonald), secretary to Fay, is discharged but secures work at a newspaper, and gets a position for Vale as a column writer. Vale gives up inventing and when Johnny marries Miss Fay, they provide a home for Rip and Patch.



  1. "A Poor Relation (1921) - Overview". TCM.com. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  2. Janiss Garza. "Poor Relation (1921)". AllMovie. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  3. "A Poor Relation". Catalog.afi.com. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  4. "Reviews: A Poor Relation". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 14 (1): 63–64. December 31, 1921.
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