Pudd'nhead Wilson (1916)

A slave switches her light-skinned baby with her master's baby. The child grows up raised by whites.


Frank Reicher


Margaret Turnbull (scenario), Mark Twain (novel)


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Cast overview:
Theodore Roberts ... Pudd'nhead Wilson
Alan Hale ... Tom Driscoll
Thomas Meighan ... Chambers
Florence Dagmar ... Rowena Cooper
Jane Wolfe ... Roxy (as Jane Wolff)
Ernest Joy Ernest Joy ... Judge Driscoll
Gertrude Kellar Gertrude Kellar ... Mrs. Driscoll


In the mid 19th century, lawyer Pudd'n head Wilson suffers the mockery of the community because of his obsession with fingerprints. Two of his samples are the infant prints of Tom Driscoll, the son of a white woman, and Chambers, whose mother is a mulatto nurse. Both boys have the same father, however, and both are about the same age, and after their birth, Roxy, angry at the Driscolls, switches them. Then, the false Tom murders his uncle and tries to blame his valet for the crime. Pudd'n head defends the accused, and while comparing new fingerprint samples against the old, discovers the switch that was made years before. He then convinces an initially doubting jury to accept the infallibility of fingerprint evidence, after which the real Tom is restored as the Driscoll heir and the false one goes to jail. Written by Pamela Short

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

31 January 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un précurseur See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Pudd'n head Wilson ( 1916 ) is a lost silent film. See more »


Version of American Playhouse: Pudd'nhead Wilson (1984) See more »

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