The Walls of Jericho (1948)

106 mins | Drama | August 1948

Director:

John M. Stahl

Writer:

Lamar Trotti

Producer:

Lamar Trotti

Cinematographer:

Arthur Miller

Editor:

James B. Clark

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio purchased the rights to Paul I. Wellman's novel for the sum of $35,000. W. R. Burnett, Robert Hill, Wanda Tuchock, F. Hugh Herbert and Lamar Trotti all worked on different versions of the screenplay, according to studio records The Screen Writers' Guild Arbitration Committee awarded sole credit to Trotti, however. Gene Tierney was originally cast as Julia Norman, but she declined to appear in the film and was replaced by Anne Baxter. Tierney was then suspended by the studio. In a LAT article Tierney stated, "There is certainly nothing personal in the issue that has arisen between Twentieth Century-Fox and myself. I simply could not undertake the part in Walls of Jericho because I did not believe it was right for me. I could not fathom the character of the girl although it was the lead in the picture. It was particularly difficult for me to refuse this role because John Stahl is the director and we have had such excellent association with Leave Her to Heaven . Nevertheless, I felt it would be a great mistake for me to appear in this new film." A HR news item of 15 Sep 1947 announced that Robert Preston would be borrowed from Paramount for the role of Tucker Wedge. The Var and HR preview reviews list a running time of 111 minutes suggesting that approximately five minutes was cut for the final release prints. A radio adaptation was broadcast on the Screen Guild Players program on ... More Less

According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio purchased the rights to Paul I. Wellman's novel for the sum of $35,000. W. R. Burnett, Robert Hill, Wanda Tuchock, F. Hugh Herbert and Lamar Trotti all worked on different versions of the screenplay, according to studio records The Screen Writers' Guild Arbitration Committee awarded sole credit to Trotti, however. Gene Tierney was originally cast as Julia Norman, but she declined to appear in the film and was replaced by Anne Baxter. Tierney was then suspended by the studio. In a LAT article Tierney stated, "There is certainly nothing personal in the issue that has arisen between Twentieth Century-Fox and myself. I simply could not undertake the part in Walls of Jericho because I did not believe it was right for me. I could not fathom the character of the girl although it was the lead in the picture. It was particularly difficult for me to refuse this role because John Stahl is the director and we have had such excellent association with Leave Her to Heaven . Nevertheless, I felt it would be a great mistake for me to appear in this new film." A HR news item of 15 Sep 1947 announced that Robert Preston would be borrowed from Paramount for the role of Tucker Wedge. The Var and HR preview reviews list a running time of 111 minutes suggesting that approximately five minutes was cut for the final release prints. A radio adaptation was broadcast on the Screen Guild Players program on 27 Jan 1949 and starred Cornel Wilde and Claire Trevor. Lux Radio Theatre broadcast an adaptation with Wilde and Terry Moore on 8 Mar 1955. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Jul 1948.
---
Daily Variety
7 Jul 48
p. 3, 11
Film Daily
7 Jul 48
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 47
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 47
p. 29.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 48
p. 3, 11
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 48
p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
29 Sep 1947.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 May 48
p. 4165.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Jul 48
p. 4242.
New York Times
5 Aug 48
p. 16.
Variety
4 Jul 48
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Dick Rich
Daniel White
Fred Graff
John Calkins
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward dir
MUSIC
Orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Walls of Jericho by Paul I. Wellman (Philadelphia, 1946).
MUSIC
"The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss II
"Moonlight Bay" and "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose," music by Percy Wenrich
"Can't Yo' Heah Me Callin' Caroline?" music by Caro Roma
+
MUSIC
"The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss II
"Moonlight Bay" and "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose," music by Percy Wenrich
"Can't Yo' Heah Me Callin' Caroline?" music by Caro Roma
"Isle of Love" by Leo Edwards.
+
SONGS
"Shine On, Harvest Moon," words by Jack Norworth, music by Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth
"Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee," words by Stanley Murphy, music by Henry I. Marshall.
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1948
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 4 August 1948
Production Date:
28 October 1947--14 January 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
4 August 1948
Copyright Number:
LP2031
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
106
Length(in feet):
9,529
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12690
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the late 1910s, Dave Connors is working as county attorney in Jericho, Kansas, when Julia Norman asks for him to help her with her father Jeff, who is sleeping off a drinking binge at Gotch McCurdy's livery stable. Dave is on his way to the railroad station to meet an old friend but agrees to help as he respects Jeff's abilities as a lawyer. McCurdy is a belligerent type and, after threatening Dave, gets into a fight with a stablehand, seriously injuring him. Dave helps Julia's father and proceeds to the station to meet his old friend, Tucker Wedge, editor and publisher of the local newspaper, The Clarion , who is returning to town with his bride Algeria. The train is three hours late and while waiting, Dave again encounters Jeff and Julia, who explains to Dave that they are leaving Jericho for good because a distant cousin of Jeff's has died in Delaware and willed her estate to them. The train eventually arrives and Dave welcomes Tucker and the glamorous Algeria. At a supper at the Connors' boardinghouse, Dave introduces Algeria to his wife Belle, Belle's mother, Mrs. Dunham, who owns the boardinghouse, and several local dignitaries, including Judge and Mrs. Hutto and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ransome and their daughter Marjorie. Later, Algeria tells Tucker that she is impressed by Dave but that the women are "dreadful." She wonders why Dave and Belle married and has detected that Belle is a secret drinker. Tucker and Algeria host a large party to which Dave and Belle are invited, but only Dave attends. Algeria is very interested to learn that Dave may run for Congress and invites ... +


In the late 1910s, Dave Connors is working as county attorney in Jericho, Kansas, when Julia Norman asks for him to help her with her father Jeff, who is sleeping off a drinking binge at Gotch McCurdy's livery stable. Dave is on his way to the railroad station to meet an old friend but agrees to help as he respects Jeff's abilities as a lawyer. McCurdy is a belligerent type and, after threatening Dave, gets into a fight with a stablehand, seriously injuring him. Dave helps Julia's father and proceeds to the station to meet his old friend, Tucker Wedge, editor and publisher of the local newspaper, The Clarion , who is returning to town with his bride Algeria. The train is three hours late and while waiting, Dave again encounters Jeff and Julia, who explains to Dave that they are leaving Jericho for good because a distant cousin of Jeff's has died in Delaware and willed her estate to them. The train eventually arrives and Dave welcomes Tucker and the glamorous Algeria. At a supper at the Connors' boardinghouse, Dave introduces Algeria to his wife Belle, Belle's mother, Mrs. Dunham, who owns the boardinghouse, and several local dignitaries, including Judge and Mrs. Hutto and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ransome and their daughter Marjorie. Later, Algeria tells Tucker that she is impressed by Dave but that the women are "dreadful." She wonders why Dave and Belle married and has detected that Belle is a secret drinker. Tucker and Algeria host a large party to which Dave and Belle are invited, but only Dave attends. Algeria is very interested to learn that Dave may run for Congress and invites him to tell her more about his political ambitions. After Dave spurns Algeria's advances, Algeria tells Tucker that Belle will hinder Dave's political career. In a front page story in his newspaper, Tucker blames Dave for not reacting to his three-month campaign to free Jericho from vice and bootlegging activities. Judge Hutto then tells Dave he will have to placate Tucker if he is going to run for Congress but Dave refuses to believe the issues Tucker is raising are significant problems in Jericho. Later, the Wedges invite the Connors to a garden party, but Belle is too drunk to attend. Having realized that she cannot have Dave for herself, Algeria has begun to make her husband over and informs Dave that Tucker has been persuaded to run for Congress. Dave then meets Julia again and learns that her father died shortly after leaving Jericho and she has returned to work as a lawyer in Judge Hutto's office. Julia accompanies Dave to a political rally in the country, and a romance develops between them. Julia, who has long loved Dave, suggests to him that the scheming Algeria could be his real opponent. To Algeria's considerable disappointment, Dave later announces that he is not running for Congress. Aware that his decision is motivated by their relationship, Julia leaves Jericho and takes a job in Kansas City. Tucker wins the election and the Wedges move to Washington, where they enjoy great success. A few years later, Dave resigns as county attorney and runs for the Senate against Tucker. During the campaign it is revealed that Dave's campaign manager, Tom Ransome, is not legally married. Upset by the revelation, Marjorie runs away from home and encounters a drunk Gotch McCurdy, who attacks her. She hits him with a shovel, then jumps on a passing freight train. Before he dies in the hospital, McCurdy implicates Marjorie. Julia wires Dave that she must see him, and when he arrives in Kansas City, he discovers that Marjorie is there with Julia. The young girl agrees to return to Jericho if Julia goes with her, and Dave asks Julia to help him defend Marjorie in court. When the case is tried, Algeria becomes resentful of all the free publicity Dave receives. However, during the trial Dave is sued for divorce, with Julia named as correspondent. Unaware that Algeria has master-minded the suit, Dave goes to reason with Belle, but she shoots him. Julia continues Marjorie's defense alone while Dave recovers, claiming that her client is being deprived of a fair trial by Dave's absence. Julia puts Algeria on the stand and asks her why she was at the Connors' house when Dave was shot and why she persuaded Belle to file for divorce during the trial. Julia then puts herself on the stand, admits that she is in love with Dave, but insists that there has been nothing reprehensible in their relationship. Tucker finally realizes that Algeria has deliberately ruined his friendship with Dave and decides not to run for the Senate, thereby dooming Algeria to remain in Jericho. Julia wins Marjorie's acquittal and recommences her romance with Dave. +

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

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