Spite Marriage (1929)

74 mins | Comedy | 25 March 1929

Director:

Edward Sedgwick

Cinematographer:

Reggie Lanning

Editor:

Frank Sullivan

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Joseph M. Schenck Productions
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HISTORY

The 12 Sep 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review reported that Buster Keaton was expected to make his talking debut in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.’s (M-G-M) Spite Marriage, which marked his second picture for M-G-M. However, the completed film contained sound, but no dialogue.
       The 26 Nov 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review, which incorrectly referred to the picture as The Spite Marriage, announced that principal photography had recently begun at M-G-M Studios in Culver City, CA. On 1 Dec 1928, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World added Sydney Jarvis to the cast list, and the 8 Dec 1928 edition confirmed a production start date on 14 Nov 1928.
       The Mar 1929 Screenland published an article written by a journalist who visited the set in Long Beach, CA, where sequences were filmed aboard a yacht. To capture the action, a tug boat holding four cameras trailed behind the yacht, attached by a rope. Buster Keaton performed several stunts in the ocean and revealed that his secret to staying warm in the cold water was to cover himself in goose grease before filming. Art Marion was listed as the still photographer; Dave Howard was named as director Edward Sedgwick’s chief assistant; and professional baseball player Ernie Orsatti was added to the cast, presumably as a stunt player, which he performed as in previous Keaton films.
       Spite Marriage opened at the Capitol Theatre in New York City on 25 Mar 1929, according to the 27 Mar 1929 Var review, which praised the “corking original” story by Lew Lipton, Sedgwick’s direction, and the “highly intelligent synchronizer” whose score and sound effects were ... More Less

The 12 Sep 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review reported that Buster Keaton was expected to make his talking debut in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.’s (M-G-M) Spite Marriage, which marked his second picture for M-G-M. However, the completed film contained sound, but no dialogue.
       The 26 Nov 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review, which incorrectly referred to the picture as The Spite Marriage, announced that principal photography had recently begun at M-G-M Studios in Culver City, CA. On 1 Dec 1928, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World added Sydney Jarvis to the cast list, and the 8 Dec 1928 edition confirmed a production start date on 14 Nov 1928.
       The Mar 1929 Screenland published an article written by a journalist who visited the set in Long Beach, CA, where sequences were filmed aboard a yacht. To capture the action, a tug boat holding four cameras trailed behind the yacht, attached by a rope. Buster Keaton performed several stunts in the ocean and revealed that his secret to staying warm in the cold water was to cover himself in goose grease before filming. Art Marion was listed as the still photographer; Dave Howard was named as director Edward Sedgwick’s chief assistant; and professional baseball player Ernie Orsatti was added to the cast, presumably as a stunt player, which he performed as in previous Keaton films.
       Spite Marriage opened at the Capitol Theatre in New York City on 25 Mar 1929, according to the 27 Mar 1929 Var review, which praised the “corking original” story by Lew Lipton, Sedgwick’s direction, and the “highly intelligent synchronizer” whose score and sound effects were spot-on and “lent an arresting realism” to the picture.
The 31 Mar 1929 FD review deemed Spite Marriage a “sure-fire” hit, and declared it the “funniest film released in months.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Daily Review
12 Sep 1928
p. 4.
Exhibitors Daily Review
26 Nov 1928
p. 7.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
1 Dec 1928
p. 41.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
8 Dec 1928
p. 50.
Film Daily
31 Mar 1929
p. 28.
Life
19 Apr 1929
p. 29, 40.
New York Times
25 Mar 1929
p. 32.
Photoplay
Aug 1929
p. 54.
Screenland
Mar 1929
pp. 42-43, 110-111.
Variety
27 Mar 1929
p. 12, 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 March 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening at the Capitol Theatre: 25 March 1929
Production Date:
began 14 November 1928
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
22 April 1929
Copyright Number:
LP329
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74
Length(in feet):
7,047
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Elmer, a pants-presser, falls in love with Trilby Drew, the star of a legitimate show, and attends every performance. Trilby is then jilted by her leading man, Lionel Denmore, and marries Elmer out of spite. She becomes intoxicated on their wedding night, and Elmer, realizing the reason for the marriage, leaves her and finds work as a sailor on a rumrunner's boat. Elmer later transfers at sea to a yacht on which Trilby is a passenger and proves his love and courage during a series of disasters. Trilby at last comes to realize her love for ... +


Elmer, a pants-presser, falls in love with Trilby Drew, the star of a legitimate show, and attends every performance. Trilby is then jilted by her leading man, Lionel Denmore, and marries Elmer out of spite. She becomes intoxicated on their wedding night, and Elmer, realizing the reason for the marriage, leaves her and finds work as a sailor on a rumrunner's boat. Elmer later transfers at sea to a yacht on which Trilby is a passenger and proves his love and courage during a series of disasters. Trilby at last comes to realize her love for Elmer. +

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.