Doing Their Bit (1918)

Comedy-drama | 4 August 1918

Director:

Kenean Buel

Writer:

Kenean Buel

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The 29 Jun 1918 Motography reported a recent performance by child stars Jane and Katherine Lee for a group of Belgian soldiers visiting Bayside, Long Island, NY. The sisters, known as Fox Film Corp.’s “Baby Grands,” made the appearance while working on their upcoming picture, Doing Their Bit. According to the 7 Sep 1918 Motion Picture News, the film marked the screen debut of actress Beth Ivins. The 8 Jun 1918 Motion Picture News stated that principal photography had already been completed, followed by the Lee sisters’ performance at Camp Upton in Yaphank, NY. The girls were invited by famed songwriter Irving Berlin, who was serving in the U.S. Army as a private. The 22 June 1918 Motion Picture News identified the filming location as Biograph Studios in Bronx, NY.
       Doing Their Bit opened 4 Aug 1918 to mixed reviews. While the 31 Aug 1918 Exhibitors Herald and Motography complained that the Lee sisters were “lost in a maze” of subplots, propaganda, and excessive intertitles, the 23 Aug 1918 Var suggested that removing focus from the stars allowed the picture to succeed on its own merits.
       Months later, the 26 Apr 1919 Motion Picture News reported that Jane and Katherine Lee had received “honors” following a 4 Apr 1919 screening of the film at the Cozy Theatre in Dyersville, IA.
       Several other war-related productions titled Doing Our Bit appeared during 1917, including two documentary films from the A. Kay Company and Pathé-International, a short subject from Educational Pictures, and a stage revue at ... More Less

The 29 Jun 1918 Motography reported a recent performance by child stars Jane and Katherine Lee for a group of Belgian soldiers visiting Bayside, Long Island, NY. The sisters, known as Fox Film Corp.’s “Baby Grands,” made the appearance while working on their upcoming picture, Doing Their Bit. According to the 7 Sep 1918 Motion Picture News, the film marked the screen debut of actress Beth Ivins. The 8 Jun 1918 Motion Picture News stated that principal photography had already been completed, followed by the Lee sisters’ performance at Camp Upton in Yaphank, NY. The girls were invited by famed songwriter Irving Berlin, who was serving in the U.S. Army as a private. The 22 June 1918 Motion Picture News identified the filming location as Biograph Studios in Bronx, NY.
       Doing Their Bit opened 4 Aug 1918 to mixed reviews. While the 31 Aug 1918 Exhibitors Herald and Motography complained that the Lee sisters were “lost in a maze” of subplots, propaganda, and excessive intertitles, the 23 Aug 1918 Var suggested that removing focus from the stars allowed the picture to succeed on its own merits.
       Months later, the 26 Apr 1919 Motion Picture News reported that Jane and Katherine Lee had received “honors” following a 4 Apr 1919 screening of the film at the Cozy Theatre in Dyersville, IA.
       Several other war-related productions titled Doing Our Bit appeared during 1917, including two documentary films from the A. Kay Company and Pathé-International, a short subject from Educational Pictures, and a stage revue at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald and Motography
17 Aug 1918
p. 53
Exhibitors Herald and Motography
31 Aug 1918
p. 24, 29
Exhibitors Trade Review
10 Aug 1918
p. 841
Motion Picture News
4 Aug 1917
p. 841
Motion Picture News
3 Nov 1917
p. 713
Motion Picture News
8 Jun 1918
p. 3391
Motion Picture News
22 Jun 1918
p. 3713
Motion Picture News
20 Jul 1918
p. 383
Motion Picture News
17 Aug 1918
p. 1013, 1042, 1122
Motion Picture News
10 Aug 1918
p. 892
Motion Picture News
7 Sep 1918
p. 5
Motion Picture News
12 Oct 1918
p. 2347
Motion Picture News
26 Apr 1919
p. 7
Motography
18 Aug 1917
p. 374
Motography
29 Jun 1918
p. 1220
Moving Picture World
3 Nov 1917
p. 768
Moving Picture World
20 Jul 1918
p. 364
Moving Picture World
17 Aug 1918
pp. 1015-1016
NYDM
24 Aug 1918
p. 274
Variety
12 Oct 1917
p. 13
Variety
23 Aug 1918
p. 42
Wid's Daily
4 Aug 1918
pp. 11-12
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Doing Our Bit
Release Date:
4 August 1918
Production Date:
ended early June 1918
Copyright Claimant:
William Fox
Copyright Date:
4 August 1918
Copyright Number:
LP12735
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Little Kate and Janie O'Dowd are sent to their wealthy American uncle, Michael O'Dowd, after their Irish father loses his life on a World War I battlefield. Having been locked accidentally into O'Dowd's munitions plant one evening, the children catch sight of their intoxicated cousin Miles O'Dowd admitting two men into the factory. The girls recognize the two as spies they had seen on the boat to America sending signals to a German submarine. After the spies knock Miles cold, the children trap them in a die-stamping machine until help arrives. Miles and factory worker Jerry Flynn, who loves young Patricia O'Dowd, enlist and are soon joined by Alfred Vanderspent, whose wealthy mother's plot to falsify his birth records is foiled by the ... +


Little Kate and Janie O'Dowd are sent to their wealthy American uncle, Michael O'Dowd, after their Irish father loses his life on a World War I battlefield. Having been locked accidentally into O'Dowd's munitions plant one evening, the children catch sight of their intoxicated cousin Miles O'Dowd admitting two men into the factory. The girls recognize the two as spies they had seen on the boat to America sending signals to a German submarine. After the spies knock Miles cold, the children trap them in a die-stamping machine until help arrives. Miles and factory worker Jerry Flynn, who loves young Patricia O'Dowd, enlist and are soon joined by Alfred Vanderspent, whose wealthy mother's plot to falsify his birth records is foiled by the children. +

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.