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HISTORY

In the early 1920s, theatrical promoter Oliver Morosco turned his attention from stage play presentations and theater ownership to film production, with the intention of building his own studio in Los Angeles, CA. An article in the 12 Jan 1921 FD described Morosco’s ambitions for a site with a variety of permanent outdoor sets. At the same time, discussions were underway for the making of Slippy McGee, which would be one of Morosco’s first films to be distributed by Associated First National Pictures. FD speculated that actor-turned-director Tod Browning might take on the project. However, five months later, a 25 Jun 1921 FD news brief indicated that Wesley Ruggles had signed to direct the picture, and was traveling with cast and crew to New Orleans, LA, and Natchez, MS, to shoot exterior scenes. A 3 Dec 1921 Exhibitors Trade Review article stated that eight weeks were spent filming at “magnificent” Southern mansions and gardens, and that with the cooperation of the Natchez Chamber of Commerce, filmmakers were permitted to shoot interior scenes in half-century old homes. Cast and crew returned to Los Angeles for the balance of production, filming inside the San Gabriel Mission in nearby San Gabriel, CA. According to Exhibitors Trade Review, permission had never before been granted to film the chapel interiors. As for studio work, it could not be determined whether or not Morosco completed his proposed studio facilities in time to accommodate Slippy McGee’s final days of shooting. The 10 Sep 1921 Motion Picture News noted that Ruggles had completed the production.
       Although the 10 Apr 1922 FD ...
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In the early 1920s, theatrical promoter Oliver Morosco turned his attention from stage play presentations and theater ownership to film production, with the intention of building his own studio in Los Angeles, CA. An article in the 12 Jan 1921 FD described Morosco’s ambitions for a site with a variety of permanent outdoor sets. At the same time, discussions were underway for the making of Slippy McGee, which would be one of Morosco’s first films to be distributed by Associated First National Pictures. FD speculated that actor-turned-director Tod Browning might take on the project. However, five months later, a 25 Jun 1921 FD news brief indicated that Wesley Ruggles had signed to direct the picture, and was traveling with cast and crew to New Orleans, LA, and Natchez, MS, to shoot exterior scenes. A 3 Dec 1921 Exhibitors Trade Review article stated that eight weeks were spent filming at “magnificent” Southern mansions and gardens, and that with the cooperation of the Natchez Chamber of Commerce, filmmakers were permitted to shoot interior scenes in half-century old homes. Cast and crew returned to Los Angeles for the balance of production, filming inside the San Gabriel Mission in nearby San Gabriel, CA. According to Exhibitors Trade Review, permission had never before been granted to film the chapel interiors. As for studio work, it could not be determined whether or not Morosco completed his proposed studio facilities in time to accommodate Slippy McGee’s final days of shooting. The 10 Sep 1921 Motion Picture News noted that Ruggles had completed the production.
       Although the 10 Apr 1922 FD announced that Slippy McGee would be released in May 1922, a news item in the 11 May 1922 FD clarified that First National had scheduled the picture for a 15 Sep 1922 opening. However, reviews in the 21 Apr 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review, 14 Jun 1923 Var, and 24 Jun 1923 FD suggest that the distributor pushed the release to spring 1923. Var was strongly critical of the film and admonished First National for releasing such a “slipshod” amateur effort: “Few productions … sponsored by recognized companies have words spelled wrong in the captions and mix up the names of their characters.” These criticisms were notable in light of statements Morosco made to the press a few years earlier. In the 3 Dec 1921 Exhibitors Herald, he boasted that Oliver Morosco Productions would be known for rejecting tradition and avoiding “set formulas,” instead striving for unprecedented “originality” and “simplicity.”
       The FD review credited J. C. Hutchinson and Allen Siegler as cameramen, and Edward E. Rose as the writer of the scenario.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
3 Dec 1921.
---
Exhibitors Trade Review
3 Dec 1921.
---
Exhibitors Trade Review
21 Apr 1923.
---
Film Daily
12 Jan 1921.
---
Film Daily
25 Jun 1921.
---
Film Daily
10 Apr 1922
p. 1.
Film Daily
11 May 1922
p. 1.
Film Daily
24 Jun 1923.
---
Motion Picture News
10 Sep 1921
p. 1376.
Variety
14 Jun 1923
p. 23.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1923
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 11 June 1923
Production Date:
June--early September 1921
Copyright Claimant:
Oliver Morosco Productions
Copyright Date:
21 March 1923
Copyright Number:
LP18792
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,399
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Severely injured in an attempted getaway, safecracker Slippy McGee is taken in by Father De Rance and nursed back to health by Mary Virginia after his leg is amputated. Under the influence of the kindness shown him, Slippy reforms and falls in love with Mary Virginia, although she intends to marry Lawrence Mayne. When George Inglesby attempts to blackmail Mary Virginia into marrying him, Slippy uses his skill one last time to obtain some incriminating letters from a ... +


Severely injured in an attempted getaway, safecracker Slippy McGee is taken in by Father De Rance and nursed back to health by Mary Virginia after his leg is amputated. Under the influence of the kindness shown him, Slippy reforms and falls in love with Mary Virginia, although she intends to marry Lawrence Mayne. When George Inglesby attempts to blackmail Mary Virginia into marrying him, Slippy uses his skill one last time to obtain some incriminating letters from a safe. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Crime


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.