Produced by Youth Photo Play Company, the four-reel The Boy and the Law was inspired by the compassionate jurisprudence of Judge Willis Brown, of the Salt Lake City Juvenile Court. The story begins in Russia, where a young Jewish boy, hoping to avenge the Czarist persecution of his countrymen, joins a "secret society" (read: Communists). When his political activities are made public, the boy is forced to stand by helplessly as his family is arrested and his home is destroyed. He vows to go to America, where "there are no laws." Settling in Salt Lake City, he goes to work in his uncle's haberdashery, selling newspapers to supplement his income. Alas, he falls into a bad crowd, and begins neglected his work and his schoolroom studies. The boy's family go to Judge Willis Brown for help, whereupon the good judge refuses to make a move until "the boy's honor will bring him to me." Sure enough, the boy's honor kicks in, and Judge Brown is able to put the young protagonist on the right path. Many of the individual elements in Boy and the Law would later resurface in such "uplifting" entertainments as Boys' Town.
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