Alibi (1929)

90 mins | Drama | 20 April 1929

Director:

Roland West

Producer:

Roland West

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Hal C. Kern

Production Designer:

William Cameron Menzies

Production Company:

Feature Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

Referring to the picture as Nightstick, the 26 Apr 1928 FD announced that Roland West would direct the film adaptation of the 1927 Broadway play of the same name, written by John Griffith Wray, J. C. Nugent and Elaine S. Carrington.
       On 31 May 1928, FD reported that Camilla Horn and William Boyd would play the lead roles, but both actors were replaced before production began.
       The 7 Jul 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World indicated that the picture would be distributed by United Artists (UA), and a Dec 1928 release date was anticipated.
       As of 18 Aug 1928, that day’s Motion Picture News, announced that the filmmakers were deciding if the picture would be made as an “all-talkie”. According to the 20 Aug 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review, the “scenarization" had been completed.
       United Artists stated in the 29 Sep 1928 Motion Picture News that they were committed to the future of sound pictures, as evidenced by their soon-to-be-built sound stages. One of UA’s first sound pictures would be Nightstick, which was planned for release in both sound and silent versions.
       The 1 Nov 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review named Eleanor Griffith as the female lead, and the 7 Nov 1928 Var noted that Judy King would also be appearing in the film. The 12 Nov 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review stated that Dudley Early would be writing the dialogue. However, neither Judy King nor Dudley Early were credited in reviews.
       Although the 20 Oct 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World reported a 1 Nov ... More Less

Referring to the picture as Nightstick, the 26 Apr 1928 FD announced that Roland West would direct the film adaptation of the 1927 Broadway play of the same name, written by John Griffith Wray, J. C. Nugent and Elaine S. Carrington.
       On 31 May 1928, FD reported that Camilla Horn and William Boyd would play the lead roles, but both actors were replaced before production began.
       The 7 Jul 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World indicated that the picture would be distributed by United Artists (UA), and a Dec 1928 release date was anticipated.
       As of 18 Aug 1928, that day’s Motion Picture News, announced that the filmmakers were deciding if the picture would be made as an “all-talkie”. According to the 20 Aug 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review, the “scenarization" had been completed.
       United Artists stated in the 29 Sep 1928 Motion Picture News that they were committed to the future of sound pictures, as evidenced by their soon-to-be-built sound stages. One of UA’s first sound pictures would be Nightstick, which was planned for release in both sound and silent versions.
       The 1 Nov 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review named Eleanor Griffith as the female lead, and the 7 Nov 1928 Var noted that Judy King would also be appearing in the film. The 12 Nov 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review stated that Dudley Early would be writing the dialogue. However, neither Judy King nor Dudley Early were credited in reviews.
       Although the 20 Oct 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World reported a 1 Nov 1928 start date, the 10 Nov 1928 edition stated that principal photography would begin at UA Studios in Hollywood, CA, on 15 Nov 1928.
       According to the 21 Nov 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review, rehearsals began the two weeks previous to production, with “synchronized photography and voice recording” to soon get underway, marking the first UA sound picture to go into production.
       The 8 Dec 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World announced that plans were still in effect to produce silent and sound versions of the picture, still titled Nightstick.R George Cooper was listed as a cast member.
       Noting the title change to Alibi, the 29 Jan 1929 FD reported that principal photography on the “all-talking” version had completed, and production on the silent version was currently underway.
       The 1 Apr 1929 FD announced that the New York City premiere would be held on 8 Apr 1929, at the 44th Street Theatre.
       UA arranged a first-time promotional event with Columbia Broadcasting to present the talkie picture on the radio, with original cast members Chester Morris and Eleanor Griffith performing their scenes in a coast to coast radio show entitled “Majestic Theater of the Air,” scheduled for 21 Apr 1929 at 9 p.m., on forty-seven stations.
       The 14 Apr 1929 FD review deemed Alibi “gripping” with “tense sequences,” and praised Chester Morris’s performance as “stirring.”
       Alibi received three Academy Award nominations in the following categories: Actor (Chester Morris), Outstanding Picture, and Art Direction (William Cameron Menzies), at the second Academy Awards ceremony held in 1930.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Daily Review
20 Aug 1928
p. 4.
Exhibitors Daily Review
1 Nov 1928
p. 8.
Exhibitors Daily Review
12 Nov 1928
p. 4.
Exhibitors Daily Review
21 Nov 1928
p. 4.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
7 Jul 1928
p. 29.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
20 Oct 1928
p. 38.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
10 Nov 1928
p. 39.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
8 Dec 1928
p. 47, 50.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
21 Sep 1929
p. 21.
Film Daily
26 Apr 1928
p. 1.
Film Daily
31 May 1928
p. 4.
Film Daily
29 Jan 1929
p. 8.
Film Daily
1 Apr 1929
p. 2.
Film Daily
14 Apr 1929
p. 12.
Film Daily
15 Aug 1929
p. 1.
Film Daily
21 Apr 1929
p. 2.
Motion Picture News
18 Aug 1928
p. 533.
Motion Picture News
29 Sep 1928
p. 981.
New York Times
9 Apr 1929
p. 29.
Variety
7 Nov 1928
p. 62.
Variety
10 Apr 1929
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Joseph Schenck presents
A United Artists release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus arr
DANCE
Choreog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Nightstick by John Griffith Wray, J. C. Nugent and Elaine S. Carrington (New York, 10 Nov 1927).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Nightstick
Release Date:
20 April 1929
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 8 April 1929
Production Date:
15 November 1928--29 January 1929
Copyright Claimant:
Feature Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 May 1929
Copyright Number:
LP394
Physical Properties:
Silent with sound sequences
Movietone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also listed at 7,263 ft.
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in feet):
8,167
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Joan Manning, the daughter of a police sergeant, secretly marries Chick Williams, a gangleader who convinces her that he is leading an honest life. Chick attends the theater with Joan and, at the intermission, sneaks away, committing a robbery during which a policeman is killed. Chick is suspected of the crime but is able to use Joan to substantiate his alibi. The police plant Danny McGann, an undercover agent, in Chick's gang; but he is discovered, and Chick murders him. Chick is later cornered by the police in his own ... +


Joan Manning, the daughter of a police sergeant, secretly marries Chick Williams, a gangleader who convinces her that he is leading an honest life. Chick attends the theater with Joan and, at the intermission, sneaks away, committing a robbery during which a policeman is killed. Chick is suspected of the crime but is able to use Joan to substantiate his alibi. The police plant Danny McGann, an undercover agent, in Chick's gang; but he is discovered, and Chick murders him. Chick is later cornered by the police in his own home. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Crime


Subject

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

KEEP EXPLORING
Robbery, Police, Detectives, Murder, Marriage
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.