Boy Slaves

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Boy Slaves
Boy Slaves FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by P.J. Wolfson
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by Albert Bein (story)
Starring Anne Shirley
Cinematography J. Roy Hunt
Edited by Desmond Marquette
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) February 2, 1939
Running time 72 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

Boy Slaves is a 1939 drama film starring Anne Shirley. The film was directed by P.J. Wolfson and based upon an Albert Bein story. Boy Slaves is an exposé of child labor.


Runaway boy Jesse Thompson, hoping to earn enough money to support his mother, follows a gang of other boys. After an infraction gets them all in trouble, they are forced to work in a fenced and guarded turpentine camp, climbing and tapping trees. They are free to leave only if they can first pay off bills they ran up at the company store (peonage). Trapped in a state of de facto slavery, they decide to strike for better food after one boy gets dizzy from hunger and falls from a tree, resulting in the amputation of his arm. When their protest fails, the boys decide to write a letter about the conditions of their detention to the U.S. President's wife, but it is intercepted. The boys believe one of their number is a "snitch", but later discover differently.


  • Anne Shirley - Annie
  • Roger Daniel - Jesse Thompson
  • James McCallion - Tim
  • Walter Ward - Miser
  • Charles Powers - Lollie
  • Johnny Fitzgerald - Knuckles
  • Frank Malo - Tommy
  • Paul White - Atlas
  • Walter Tetley - Pee Wee
  • Charles Lane - Albee

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