The Nut (1921 film)

The Nut is a 1921 American silent film comedy directed by Theodore Reed.[1]

The Nut
Movie poster
Directed byTheodore Reed
Produced byDouglas Fairbanks (producer)
Written byKenneth Davenport (story)
Douglas Fairbanks (writer)
William Parker (writer)
Lotta Woods (writer)
StarringSee below
CinematographyWilliam C. McGann
Harris Thorpe
Charles Warrington
Douglas Fairbanks Pictures
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • March 6, 1921 (1921-03-06) (U.S.)
Running time
6 reels; 74 minutes (USA)
65 minutes (DVD)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Fairbanks biographer Jeffrey Vance writes, "Admittedly a minor work, The Nut is frequently dismissed in critical assessments of Fairbanks's career. This is unfortunate, for it contains some fascinating sequences and reveals much about the actor-producer's state of mind at the time it was made."[2] Vance also notes, "The picture is like a chaotic funhouse, filled with magical masquerades, illusions, and gimmicks of great momentary amusement."[3]


Based upon a summary in a film publication,[4] Charlie (Fairbanks) has a girlfriend Estrell (De La Motte) who has a theory that if rich people would take a number of poor children into their homes each day, the environment would cause the children to grow up properly. Since Estrell does not know any of these rich people, Charlie offers to arrange a meeting. However, Charlie thinks impostors will do as well as the real rich people, so first he hires some men who turn out to be burglars and gamblers. Then he tries using dummies, but Estell is not fooled and becomes indignant. A wealthy man working as a reporter goes to investigate a report of a man dragging a body which turns out to be Charlie moving a dummy, allowing Charlie to finally meet someone rich. Estell is satisfied and agrees to marry him.


Frank Campeau, Jeanne Carpenter, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Charles Stevens appear uncredited.

Fairbanks biographer Jeffrey Vance disputes the claims of many film historians that Charlie Chaplin appears in the film. "It is clearly as Chaplin imitator, not Chaplin himself, who appears briefly in the party sequence wearing the Tramp costume."[5]


  1. The Nut at the database
  2. Vance, Jeffrey. Douglas Fairbanks. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008, 86.
  3. Vance, Jeffrey. Douglas Fairbanks. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008, 89.
  4. "The Nut: Some Good Comedy Bits, But Not Enough to Make "The Nut" Big". Film Daily. New York City: Wyd's Films and Film Folks, Inc. 15 (68): 2. March 13, 1921. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  5. Vance, Jeffrey. Douglas Fairbanks. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008. p.91 ISBN 978-0-520-25667-5.

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