starring Richard Barthelmess and Molly O'Day
November, 1927

Learn about punches from "The Patent Leather Kid. The Kid is clever -- you'll like him. From his patent-leather hair to his patent-leather shoes. Dick Barthelmess makes him shine. It is Richard's best picture since "Tol'able David." Barthelmess must be a born scrapper -- both his best pictures are full of fights, and good ones.

"The Kid" fights for cash, not for fun. He's a professional; he's tough -- see? He's a slicker, and also a slacker, if you can imagine a movie hero who has to be drafted into the war. When his Uncle Samuel calls the Kid to the fray, he answers, but reluctantly. There's not enough money in it. But his Girl is a fighter -- a real one; and when the Kid is almost knocked out by the war, she fights for him, and wins. There's a gripping scene in a hospital tent when she makes the surgeon save the life of the badly broken bruiser. You will come out of the tent alive, with Dick; but I'll bet you'll be talking about your operation for a long time. It's that real. The second half of "The Patent Leather Kid" is excellent "war stuff" as Rupert Hughes has written it, Al Santell directed it, and Dick and Molly O'Day have acted it. The finish brings the audience to its feet -- I'll leave it for you to find out why.

This is Molly O'Day's first big, serious picture; and the little girl makes good. Sally O'Neil, shakes hands with sister. Molly has eyes like Irish lakes and a big, broad grin. The combination is entrancing. Dick has shared close-ups with the newcomer, to his own credit.

"The Patent Leather Kid" is one continuous battle. The first half takes you behind the scenes of the squared circle and shows you how the heels go round. There's plenty of prize-ring atmosphere, with human sidelights on the big brawny boys who battle for a living -- enough excitement for a half-dozen ordinary fight pictures. Then the story goes on into the Big Fight; and if you can't manage a trip to the Dempsey-Tunney match, console yourself with this picture. If you aren't a fight fan, you will be when you have seen it.

Video source: Kavel

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