The Swamp (1921 film)

The Swamp (called Le Devin du faubourg/The Neighborhood Fortune-Teller in France)[1] is a 1921 American silent drama film released by the Robertson-Cole Pictures Corporation and directed by Colin Campbell. The film was written and produced by Sessue Hayakawa, who also co-stars with Bessie Love. A print of this film is preserved at the Gosfilmofond archive in Moscow.[2][3][4]

The Swamp
Directed byColin Campbell
Produced bySessue Hayakawa
Written byJ. Grubb Alexander (scenario)
Story bySessue Hayakawa
StarringSessue Hayakawa
Bessie Love
CinematographyFrank D. Williams
Distributed byRobertson-Cole Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • October 30, 1921 (1921-10-30)
Running time
6 reels; 5,560 feet
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


Mary (Love) and her son Buster (Lee) live in a single room in a tenement in the slums of the city, having been deserted by their husband and father, wealthy Spencer Wellington (Tucker). While selling newspapers, Buster meets Wang (Hayakawa), a vegetable peddler. Wang protects Buster from attack, and receives a black eye in the endeavor. When Mary becomes ill, Wang cares for her until she is well. When Mary and Buster are about to be evicted, Wang sells his horse and vegetable stand to help them out, and he and Buster team up and become fortune-tellers.

Through Wang, Mary learns that her husband is planning to remarry. When Wang entertains at the wedding reception, he reveals Spencer's past, and Spencer's new fiance, society lady Norma Biddle (Wilson), ends the engagement. Mary obtains a divorce from Spencer, and marries the new rent collector Johnnie Rand (McCullough), who is a former sweetheart. Wang is able to retrieve his horse, and he returns to his homeland, where he is reunited with his sweetheart.[4][5]



The film received positive reviews,[6] and Hayakawa and Love received praise for their performances.[1]


  1. Miyao, Daisuke (2007). "Introduction". Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom. Duke University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8223-8982-8.
  2. "Progressive Silent Film List: The Swamp". Silent Era. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  3. "The Swamp / Colin Campbell [motion picture]". Library of Congress – Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  4. Munden, Kenneth W., ed. (1971). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films 1921–1930. New York: R.R. Bowker Company. p. 780. OCLC 664500075.
  5. "Reviews: The Swamp". Exhibitors Herald. Vol. 13 no. 16. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. October 15, 1921. p. 69.
  6. Thompson, T.C. (March 11, 1922). "What the Picture Did for Me". Exhibitors Herald. p. 77.

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