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HISTORY

The 31 Jan 1920 issue of Moving Picture World reported that The Man Tamer would be produced by Selznick Pictures Corporation as a “feature special” made on the East Coast. However, Selznick Pictures did not remain with the project, which had gone to Universal Manufacturing Co. as of mid-Mar 1921, according to a19 Mar 1921 Moving Picture World item.
       On 19 Feb 1921, Wid’s Daily announced that The Man Tamer would be actress Gladys Walton’s next starring vehicle. Walton had gained popularity in the circus-themed Pink Tights (1920, see entry) when it was released in Oct 1920, and Universal had since been looking for another circus film for the actress, based on popular demand. The 1 Apr 1921 Wid’s Daily stated that Walton was ready to begin work on the film after a four-week-long illness, which required a two-week stay in the hospital. The following day, Motion Picture News stated that Universal had lured the public to visit the circus built for the film, thus recruiting unpaid background actors. Three weeks later, the 23 Apr 1921 issue of Motion Picture News announced that principal photography was completed.
       The 5 Jun 1921 Wid’s Daily review praised the picture’s thrilling lion attack scenes, and questioned how filmmakers managed to show “the beast from the moment he springs until he lands on the man.” According to the Dec 1921 issue of Picture-Play Magazine, two sibling lions, housed at Universal City Studios, were used: a tame lion named “Ethel,” and her “bad sister” who was “shown snarling and ready ... More Less

The 31 Jan 1920 issue of Moving Picture World reported that The Man Tamer would be produced by Selznick Pictures Corporation as a “feature special” made on the East Coast. However, Selznick Pictures did not remain with the project, which had gone to Universal Manufacturing Co. as of mid-Mar 1921, according to a19 Mar 1921 Moving Picture World item.
       On 19 Feb 1921, Wid’s Daily announced that The Man Tamer would be actress Gladys Walton’s next starring vehicle. Walton had gained popularity in the circus-themed Pink Tights (1920, see entry) when it was released in Oct 1920, and Universal had since been looking for another circus film for the actress, based on popular demand. The 1 Apr 1921 Wid’s Daily stated that Walton was ready to begin work on the film after a four-week-long illness, which required a two-week stay in the hospital. The following day, Motion Picture News stated that Universal had lured the public to visit the circus built for the film, thus recruiting unpaid background actors. Three weeks later, the 23 Apr 1921 issue of Motion Picture News announced that principal photography was completed.
       The 5 Jun 1921 Wid’s Daily review praised the picture’s thrilling lion attack scenes, and questioned how filmmakers managed to show “the beast from the moment he springs until he lands on the man.” According to the Dec 1921 issue of Picture-Play Magazine, two sibling lions, housed at Universal City Studios, were used: a tame lion named “Ethel,” and her “bad sister” who was “shown snarling and ready to spring.” Trainers outside Universal speculated that Ethel was “born of several generations of in-bred lions and… a bit weak mentally.” Incidentally, a 23 Apr 1921 Exhibitors Herald brief reported that Gladys Walton was stripped of her $100,000 insurance policy after the insurer discovered she had entered a lion’s cage on set.
       The 27 May 1921 Var review likened “The Man-Tamer,” John Barton Oxford’s 1918 short story upon which the film is based, to Elizabeth Mercier’s story, “A Question of Management,” which had been published “a number of years ago” in a collection titled, The Scrap Book.
       A. P. Younger is also given screen credit for story; Universal records have been followed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
23 Apr 1921.
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Motion Picture News
2 Apr 1921.
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Motion Picture News
23 Apr 1921.
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Moving Picture World
31 Jan 1920.
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Moving Picture World
19 Mar 1921.
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Picture-Play Magazine
Dec 1921.
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Variety
27 May 1921.
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Wid's Daily
19 Feb 1921.
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Wid's Daily
1 Apr 1921.
---
Wid's Daily
5 Jun 1921.
---
DETAILS
Release Date:
May 1921
Production Date:
April 1921
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Film Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 May 1921
Copyright Number:
LP16569
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
4,516
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Kitty Horrigan's father, a lion tamer in Delmar's Circus, is maimed by one of his cats. Kitty continues the act alone but must resist the advances of both Delmar, the circus manager, and Bradley Caldwell, Sr., a profligate millionaire. When she leaves the circus, Caldwell engages her to "tame" his son, Bradley, Jr., and in the process, she falls in love with the young man. When he resumes his drinking, she returns to the circus but is rescued from Delmar by the repentant young ... +


Kitty Horrigan's father, a lion tamer in Delmar's Circus, is maimed by one of his cats. Kitty continues the act alone but must resist the advances of both Delmar, the circus manager, and Bradley Caldwell, Sr., a profligate millionaire. When she leaves the circus, Caldwell engages her to "tame" his son, Bradley, Jr., and in the process, she falls in love with the young man. When he resumes his drinking, she returns to the circus but is rescued from Delmar by the repentant young millionaire. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Carnival/Circus


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.