School Days (1921 film)

School Days is a 1921 American comedy film directed by William Nigh, written by Walter DeLeon, Hoey Lawlor and William Nigh, and starring Wesley Barry, George Lessey, Nellie Parker Spaulding, Margaret Seddon, Arline Blackburn, and J.H. Gilmour. It was released by Warner Bros. on December 25, 1921[3][4][5] and was Warner's biggest grossing film until The Sea Beast in 1926.[1]

School Days
Directed byWilliam Nigh
Produced byHarry Rapf
Screenplay byWalter DeLeon
Hoey Lawlor
William Nigh
Story byWilliam Nigh
StarringWesley Barry
George Lessey
Nellie Parker Spaulding
Margaret Seddon
Arline Blackburn
J.H. Gilmour
CinematographyJohn W. Brown
Sidney Hickox
Harry Rapf Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • December 25, 1921 (1921-12-25)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Box office$578,000 (worldwide rentals)[1][2]

Prints of School Days survives at the George Eastman House and UCLA Film and Television Archive with one reel missing.[6]


As described in a film magazine,[7] Speck Brown (Barry) is a country boy who has been raised by the hard hearted Deacon Jones (Lessey). The Deacon insists that Speck attend school, but when the teacher (Seddon) defends the boy against his viscous guardian, Jones turns against her. Speck becomes acquainted with a Stranger (Gilmour) who comes to town and Speck realizes his ambition, through the Stranger, to go to New York City and have plenty of money. At a private school he continues his boyish pranks and is snubbed when he gives a party to his wealthy neighbors. A couple of crooks plan to make Speck the goat in a scheme involving his friend Leff (Conlon), the inventor of a patent clothespin. Disgusted with society and realizing that money cannot buy him happiness or friends, Speck returns to his boyhood home and finds happiness there.


Box office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $546,000 domestically and $32,000 foreign.[2]


  1. Glancy, H Mark (1995). "Warner Bros Film Grosses, 1921–51: the William Schaefer ledger". Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television. 15.
  2. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p. 1 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  3. "School Days (1921) - Overview". Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  4. Janiss Garza. "School Days (1921) - William Nigh". AllMovie. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  5. "School Days". Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  6. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: School Days
  7. "Reviews: School Days". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 13 (24): 59. December 10, 1921.
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