The Jailbird

The Jailbird is a 1920 American silent comedy film directed by Lloyd Ingraham and written by Julien Josephson. The film stars Douglas MacLean, Doris May, Louis Morrison, William Courtright, Wilbur Higby, and Otto Hoffman. The film was released on October 10, 1920, by Paramount Pictures.[1][2]

The Jailbird
Still with Douglas MacLean
Directed byLloyd Ingraham
Produced byThomas H. Ince
Screenplay byJulien Josephson
StarringDouglas MacLean
Doris May
Louis Morrison
William Courtright
Wilbur Higby
Otto Hoffman
CinematographyBert Cann
Edited byHarry Marker
Thomas H. Ince Corporation
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • October 10, 1920 (1920-10-10)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[3] Shakespeare Clancy (MacLean), adroit in the art of opening safes, escapes from prison when his term still has six months to run and returns with 'Skeeter' Burns (Morrison), a friend who has just finished his sentence, to Dodson, Kansas, where Shakespeare has inherited a run-down newspaper and some worthless real estate. His first issue of the newspaper antagonizes the people of the town, and he promotes an oil stock scheme to get their money, setting up a well on his property. After he has collected money from practically all of the town residents, he prepares for his getaway only to find that Alice Whitney (May), a young woman he has come to love, owns two thousand dollars of the worthless stock. An unexpected gusher from the well on his property paves the way for a happy ending, with Shakespeare returning to prison to complete his interrupted sentence.


Preservation status

A copy of The Jailbird is preserved in the Library of Congress collection.[4][5][6]


  1. "The-Jailbird - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes -". Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  2. "The Jailbird". Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  3. "Reviews: The Jailbird". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 11 (12): 89. September 18, 1920.
  4. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, p. 92, c.1978 by the American Film Institute
  5. The Library of Congress/FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: The Jailbird
  6. Progressive Silent Film List: The Jailbird at
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