The New Klondike

The New Klondike is a 1926 black-and-white silent romantic comedy sports drama film directed by Lewis Milestone for Famous Players-Lasky.[1][2][3] The film was set against the backdrop of the Florida land boom of the 1920s,[4] and stands as Ben Hecht's first film assignment.[5][6]

The New Klondike
lobby card
Directed byLewis Milestone
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Jesse L. Lasky
Written byThomas J. Geraghty
J. Clarkson Miller
Ben Hecht
Screenplay byRing Lardner
Based onThe New Klondike
by Peggy Griffith
StarringThomas Meighan
Lila Lee
Paul Kelly
Tefft Johnson
CinematographyAlvin Wyckoff
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • March 15, 1926 (1926-03-15) (USA Theatrical)
Running time
80 minutes
8 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish intertitles


Partly filmed on location in Miami, the film is based upon a short story by Ring Lardner and was inspired by both the national baseball craze and the Florida land boom speculation of 1925.[7] The film itself then inspired the 1926 Peggy Griffith novel The New Klondike – A Story of a Southern Baseball Training Camp.[8][9] The film proved successful enough to secure Thomas Meighan a long-term acting contract with Paramount.[7]


Small-town pitcher Thomas Kelly (Thomas Meighan) is sent to Spring training with a minor league baseball team in Florida, but is fired by its jealous manager, Joe Cooley (Jack W. Johnston). Kelly is then talked into being the celebrity endorser for a Florida real estate firm, and his former teammates invest money in the firm through him. Still jealous of Kelly's popularity, Cooley conspires with crooked broker Morgan West (Robert Craig) to sell Kelly and the investors some worthless swampland. Kelly and his friends lose their money, but Kelly struggles to recoup the losses. He eventually makes a fortune, repays the investors, and is himself appointed team manager in place of Cooley.


  • Thomas Meighan as Tom Kelly
  • Lila Lee as Evelyn Lane
  • Paul Kelly as Bing Allen
  • Tefft Johnson as Col. Dwyer
  • Hallie Manning as Flamingo Applegate
  • Robert W. Craig as Morgan West
  • George De Carlton as Owen
  • Jack W. Johnston as Joe Cooley
  • Brenda Lane as Bird Dog
  • Danny Hayes as The Spieler


The New York Times wrote, "The wild scramble for Florida real estate is served up in a fairly humorous light in Thomas Meighan's latest production, 'The New Klondike,' which is Thomas J. Geraghty's adaptation of a special story by Ring Lardner." They noted that the film was predictable and not overburdened with suspense, but that the film did provide "several amusing incidents concerned with the activities of the realtors and their victims."[4]

Preservation status

Prints of this film are held in the Library of Congress film archive.[10][11] It's in 35mm however one reel is missing.[12][13]


  1. John Douglas Eames (1985). The Paramount story. Crown. p. 44. ISBN 0-517-55348-1.
  2. Kingsley Canham (1974). Lewis Milestone. Volume 2 of The Hollywood Professionals, Kingsley Canham. Tantivy Press. pp. 73, 107. ISBN 0-498-01394-4.
  3. Rob Edelman (1994). The great baseball films: from right off the bat to a league of their own. Carol Pub. Group. pp. 159, 160, 204. ISBN 0-8065-1479-5.
  4. "The Florida Boom". The New York Times. March 26, 1926. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  5. Lea Jacobs (2008). The decline of sentiment: American film in the 1920s. University of California Press. pp. 302. ISBN 0-520-25457-0.
  6. William MacAdams (1990). Ben Hecht: the man behind the legend. Scribner. pp. 103, 291, 299. ISBN 0-684-18980-1.
  7. Hal Erickson, Rovi. "The New Klondike". AMC. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  8. Werner Delanoy; Johann Köberl; Heinz Tschachler (1993). Experiencing a foreign culture: papers in English, American, and Australian studies. Gunter Narr Verlag. pp. 135, 146. ISBN 3-8233-4364-5.
  9. Library of Congress. Copyright Office (1927). Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series: 1926, Part 1. Volume 23, Part 1 of Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. p. 734.
  10. "The New Klondike". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  11. Hal Erickson (1992). Baseball in the movies: a comprehensive reference, 1915–1991. McFarland. p. 223.
  12. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, p.126 c.1978 by The American Film Institute
  13. the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:The New Klondike
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