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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bud's Recruit
Directed byKing Vidor
Written byJudge Willis Brown
King Vidor
Produced byJudge Willis Brown
StarringWallace Brennan
Release date
  • January 19, 1918 (1918-01-19)
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

Bud's Recruit is a 1918 American short comedy film directed by King Vidor. A print survives at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.[1] In February 2020, the film was shown at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, as part of a retrospective dedicated to King Vidor's career.[2]


  • Wallace Brennan as Bud Gilbert
  • Robert Gordon as Reggie Gilbert
  • Ruth Hampton as Edith
  • Mildred Davis as Edith's sister


Bud’s Recruit is one of ten short films written and produced by Judge Willis Brown that were directed by King Vidor. These were filmed at Boy City Film Company in Culver City, California and released by General Film Company between January and May 1918. Bud’s Recruit is unique in that it is the only film from the Judge Willis Brown series that survives. This film is the only one of the series in which Judge Willis Brown did not appear.[3]


Brown was a Salt Lake City juvenile court judge who specialized in “rehabilitating juvenile offenders.” He based the series on his experiences operating his “Boy’s Cities” (not to be confused with Boys Town). The movies depict “inter-ethnic” city youth facing and resolving social and moral challenges constructively.[4] Written and filmed shortly after the United States entered WWI in 1917, the Bud’s Recruit alludes to the isolationist impulses that affected recruitment efforts. The movie is pro-intervention, though Vidor presents a tough-in-check portrayal of the under-age brother (Bud) pro-enlistment enthusiasm. His chastening ultimately served to overcome his mother’s and older brothers’ resistance to supporting the war effort. His older brother (Reggie) is “Bud’s Recruit”. [5]


  1. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Bud's Recruit". Silent Era. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  2. ^ "Berlinale 2020: Retrospective "King Vidor"". Berlinale. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  3. ^ Durgnat and Simmon 1988 p. 333: “All Vidor’s films prior to 1920 are presumed lost, except for The Intrigue and reel 1 of Bud’s Recruit And p, 24: only film without Brown appearing.
  4. ^ Baxter 1976 p. 8
    Durgnat and Simmon 1988 p. 25, p. 335
  5. ^ Durgnat and Simmon 1988 p. 24: “Bud subverts both his draft-age brother and society mother’s “peace advocacy” [isolationism].” And p.65 and p. 69: The subject of “anti-interventionist” attitudes toward participating in the European conflict reflected a “traditional American attitude….”


This page was last edited on 21 June 2022, at 14:52
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