Fools First

Fools First is a 1922 American crime film directed by Marshall Neilan and written by Marion Fairfax and Hugh Wiley. The film stars Richard Dix, Claire Windsor, Claude Gillingwater, Raymond Griffith, George Siegmann, and Helen Lynch. The film was released on May 27, 1922, by Associated First National Pictures.[1][2][3]

Fools First
Newspaper advertisement
Directed byMarshall Neilan
Screenplay byMarion Fairfax
Hugh Wiley
Based onFool's First
by Hugh MacNair Kahler
StarringRichard Dix
Claire Windsor
Claude Gillingwater
Raymond Griffith
George Siegmann
Helen Lynch
CinematographyDavid Kesson
Karl Struss
Edited byDaniel J. Gray
Marshall Neilan Productions
Distributed byAssociated First National Pictures
Release date
  • May 27, 1922 (1922-05-27)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[4] Tommy Frazer (Dix) is part of a gang of crooks led by Tony the Wop (Griffith) and Kelley's Cafe is their hangout. One night gang member Skinny (Dromgold) is killed by a member of a rival gang, and police officers, hearing the shooting, come to the flat. The police find Skinny sitting at a table, apparently playing cards, so they leave, not noticing that a gang member was behind Spider and holding the cards. To get even, the gang gets 'Blondie' Clark (Lynch) to coax The Kid from the rival gang to their rooms, and Tony stabs him and disposes of the body. Tommy is caught in a forgery and is sent up to prison for three years. Ann Whittaker (Windsor), a fellow worker, nods farewell as he is led away. When Tommy is released he goes to a distant town and, using phony letters of recommendation furnished by Ann, he gets a job at a bank. Soon he is in love with Ann. When a large sum is delivered to the bank, he grows restless and decides to steal it. Having been entrusted with the time lock of the bank, he takes the package of money. The old gang, hearing of the money, comes to town. Tommy changes his mind about the crime, and, while returning the package of money to the vault, he is set upon by the gang and robbed. He goes to bank president Denton Drew (Gillingwater) to confess his part in the transaction, but is relieved to learn that the package did not contain any money, the banker having taken it home. Ann then declares her love for Tommy, providing a happy ending.



  1. "Fools First (1922) - Overview". Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  2. Janiss Garza. "Fools First (1922) - Marshall Neilan". AllMovie. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  3. "Fools First". Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  4. "Reviews: Fools First". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 14 (23): 49. June 3, 1922.
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