The Mollycoddle (1920)


The Mollycoddle (1920)

What's the difference between a primitive (such as Hopi Indians or Richard Marshall the Fifth's two-fisted pioneer ancestors) and a sophisticate (in this case Richard Marshall V, raised in Monte Carlo playing polo in spats and a monocle)? Richard meets up with some Americans abroad who can't believe he's an American too. He's invited to sail with them to Galveston and then head for Hopi land in Arizona. Little does Richard know that he's stumbled onto a diamond-smuggling operation, that one of the yachting party is in the secret service on the trail of Van Holkar, their host, and that soon all of Richard's instinctual mettle will be tested, mettle he didn't know he had.
IMDb   6.5 /10
TheMovieDb    6.0 /10
Director Victor Fleming
Writer Douglas Fairbanks
Writer Thomas J. Geraghty
Writer Harold McGrath
Release Date1920-06-12
Runtime1h 26min
GenreAdventure, Comedy, Romance
Content RatingNot Rated (Not Rated)
CompanyDouglas Fairbanks Pictures
LanguageNone, English
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
Richard Marshall IIIas Richard Marshall III…
Ruth Renick
Ruth Renick
Virginia Haleas Virginia Hale
Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
Henry von Holkaras Henry von Holkar
Paul Burns
Paul Burns
Samuel Levinskias Samuel Levinski
Morris Hughes
Morris Hughes
Patrick O'Flanniganas Patrick O'Flannigan
George Stewart
George Stewart
Ole Olsenas Ole Olsen
Yellow Horseas Yellow Horse
Lewis Hippe
Lewis Hippe
First Mateas First Mate
Betty Bouton
Betty Bouton
Mollie Warrenas Mollie Warren
Adele Farrington
Adele Farrington
Mrs. Warrenas Mrs. Warren
Driver of the Desert Yachtas Driver of the Desert Yacht
Fredericka Hawks
Fredericka Hawks
Girl Hoboas Girl Hobo
Bob Burns
Bob Burns
Barflyas Barfly
Frank Campeau
Frank Campeau
Man at Trading Postas Man at Trading Post
Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye
Chiefas Chief
Bull Montana
Bull Montana
Fish Cannery Workeras Fish Cannery Worker

The Mollycoddle

The Mollycoddle is a 1920 American film starring Douglas Fairbanks and Wallace Beery, and directed by Victor Fleming. Beery plays an ice-cold villain brawling with Fairbanks' character all the way down the side of a steep mountain in one sequence. A copy of the film is in the Museum of Modern Art and in other film collections.


As described in a film magazine, Richard Marshall (Fairbanks), nicknamed The Mollycoddle by his friends, is the descendant of hard-hitting, fearless western stock, and although born in Arizona he has been raised since a child in England and acquired English ways. Upon meeting some Americans who are about to go home in a private yacht, he joins them. Fearing that Richard is a secret service operative, the owner of the yacht, who is smuggling diamonds into the United States, withdraws the invitation. Friends, however, smuggle him aboard and, when the owner discovers him, he is put to work shoveling coal in the boiler room. Off the coast of Texas he jumps ship and swims ashore, is picked up by a fishing net and eventually makes his way to Arizona, where the party is exploring the diamond mines. Richard discovers the plot to blow up a mountain and hem the party in a little valley. The scheme nearly succeeds, but Richard captures the smuggler in a tall tree, falls through the tree limbs and brawls with him down an extremely steep embankment into a river and over a falls, then drags the half-drowned man to shore. In addition, he of course wins the girl, who turns out to be a detective in service to Uncle Sam.

Cast (in credits order)

  • Douglas Fairbanks as Richard Marshall III, IV and V
  • Ruth Renick as Virginia Hale
  • Wallace Beery as Henry von Holkar
  • Paul Burns as Samuel Levinski
  • Morris Hughes as Patrick O'Flannigan
  • George Stewart as Ole Olsen
  • Charles Stevens as Yellow Horse
  • Lewis Hippe as First Mate
  • Betty Bouton as Mollie Warren
  • Adele Farrington as Mrs. Warren
  • Albert MacQuarrie as Driver of the Desert Yacht
  • Freddie Hawk as Girl Hobo

Uncredited cast

  • Bob Burns as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Frank Campeau as Man at Trading Post (uncredited)
  • Eagle Eye as Chief (uncredited)
  • Bull Montana as Cannery Worker (uncredited)

Production crew

  • Cinematography by William C. McGann and Harris Thorpe
  • Art Direction by Edward M. Langley
  • Second Unit Director Theodore Reed
  • Technical effects by Robert Fairbanks
  • Supervisor - Douglas Fairbanks