An early directorial effort by King Vidor, The Jack Knife Man is based on a sentimental story by Ellis Parker Butler. Vidor avoids many of the obvious Pathos pitfalls of the Butler original, turning out a story that is as credible as it is heartwarming. Fred Turner stars as a lonely old man who lives on a decrepit houseboat. His dour outlook on life is brightened a bit when he meets a small orphaned boy. The two "outcasts" share many an adventure over the next five reels, enjoying a happy ending despite several last-reel reverses. Florence Vidor, then the wife of the director, appears in Jack Knife Man in the small role of Mrs. Montgomery.