Applause (1930)

80 mins | Drama | 30 August 1930

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HISTORY

Working titles of the film included Portrait and Every Day Is Sunday. Although some sources listed a running time of 90 min, the print viewed was approximately 80 min, the running time listed in the Var review. Interiors for the film were shot at Paramount's Astoria Studios on Long Island. Exteriors were shot throughout New York City, including the Brooklyn Bridge, a subway station and the top of a skyscraper.
       Applause marked the motion picture debut of Russian-born director Rouben Mamoulian (1897--1987), who had been a successful opera and theatrical director from the time of his arrival in the United States in 1923. Three years after accepting George Eastman's invitation to direct the George Eastman Theatre in Rochester, Mamoulian went to New York City. In 1927, he directed the Theatre Guild production of Porgy, considered a Broadway milestone. Mamoulian revealed in interviews years after Applause was made, that initially, during the production, he met with considerable opposition from his crew, particularly from cameraman George Folsey.
       Reviews noted Mamoulian's extensive use of a moving camera, which the LAT critic called "a triumph of craft." The reputation of Mamoulian's highly stylized and innovative direction, as well as Folsey’s camera work, has increased over the decades. Mamoulian was the first director to utilize two simultaneous sound tracks, and several reviews pointed out the advances Applause made in the development of motion picture sound.
       Although Applause did not mark the screen debut of singer Helen Morgan (1900--1941), it did mark her first starring role. Critics praised ... More Less

Working titles of the film included Portrait and Every Day Is Sunday. Although some sources listed a running time of 90 min, the print viewed was approximately 80 min, the running time listed in the Var review. Interiors for the film were shot at Paramount's Astoria Studios on Long Island. Exteriors were shot throughout New York City, including the Brooklyn Bridge, a subway station and the top of a skyscraper.
       Applause marked the motion picture debut of Russian-born director Rouben Mamoulian (1897--1987), who had been a successful opera and theatrical director from the time of his arrival in the United States in 1923. Three years after accepting George Eastman's invitation to direct the George Eastman Theatre in Rochester, Mamoulian went to New York City. In 1927, he directed the Theatre Guild production of Porgy, considered a Broadway milestone. Mamoulian revealed in interviews years after Applause was made, that initially, during the production, he met with considerable opposition from his crew, particularly from cameraman George Folsey.
       Reviews noted Mamoulian's extensive use of a moving camera, which the LAT critic called "a triumph of craft." The reputation of Mamoulian's highly stylized and innovative direction, as well as Folsey’s camera work, has increased over the decades. Mamoulian was the first director to utilize two simultaneous sound tracks, and several reviews pointed out the advances Applause made in the development of motion picture sound.
       Although Applause did not mark the screen debut of singer Helen Morgan (1900--1941), it did mark her first starring role. Critics praised her performance, noting her transformation from a sultry, dark-haired singer into the frazzle-haired blonde burlesque performer. Although her "Kitty Darling" character is supposed to be too old to perform, in fact, Morgan was only thirty when she appeared in the film, just nine years older than Joan Peers, who portrayed her daughter, "April." (For additional information about Morgan’s life, please consult the entry for the 1957 biographical film The Helen Morgan Story ). Applause also marked the debut of Peers (1909--1975), although some modern sources suggest that she may have appeared in one or two bit roles prior to Applause.
       When the picture opened in New York City, various Catholic officials in the United States took exception to a line in the film in which "Kitty" tells "April" that many "Shakers" are "just as good Catholics as others," saying that they "would be just as well satisfied if the picture makers had attempted to compliment the Methodists." To remedy this situation, the Hays Office suggested that the word "Catholic" be deleted from the film during the exhibition by instructing theatre owners to "turn down the fader or blur the dialogue at that point." In the viewed print the word "Catholic" is, in fact, inaudible. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
18 Jan 1930
p. 11.
Film Daily
13 Oct 1929
p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
14 Feb 1930
p. A11.
New York Times
8 Oct 1929
p. 24.
Variety
9 Oct 1929
p. 31.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Prod, Long Island Studio
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Applause by Beth Brown (New York, 1928).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"What Wouldn't I Do for That Man," music by Jay Gorney, lyrics by E. Y. Harburg
"Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula," music and lyrics by E. Ray Goetz, Joe Young and Pete Wendling
"Give Your Little Baby Lots of Lovin'," music by Joe Burke, lyrics by Dolly Morse
+
SONGS
"What Wouldn't I Do for That Man," music by Jay Gorney, lyrics by E. Y. Harburg
"Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula," music and lyrics by E. Ray Goetz, Joe Young and Pete Wendling
"Give Your Little Baby Lots of Lovin'," music by Joe Burke, lyrics by Dolly Morse
"I've Got a Feelin' I'm Fallin'," music and lyrics by Billy Rose, Harry Link and "Fats" Waller
"Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "Everybody's Doing It," music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Every Day Is Sunday
Portrait
Release Date:
30 August 1930
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 7 October 1929
Production Date:
Astoria Studios, Long Island
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Famous Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
3 January 1930
Copyright Number:
LP969
Physical Properties:
Sound
Movietone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si; 6,896 ft.
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in feet):
7,357
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Burlesque queen Kitty Darling gives birth to a baby girl shortly after learning that her husband has been executed. A few years later, Kitty refuses the marriage proposal of her friend, comic Joe King, because she dreams of "making it big" on Broadway, but takes Joe's suggestion to send her beloved April to a convent school. Years later, Kitty is an alcoholic who still dreams of Broadway. Her current lover, Hitch Nelson, is a two-timing gigolo who demands that Kitty send for the now seventeen-year-old April when he learns that Kitty has been paying for the girl's expensive education. April, who has led a sheltered life, is disgusted by New York's seedy burlesque environment, but her love for Kitty makes her stay. Because Kitty feels that she and Hitch must be married to provide April with the right environment, he agrees, but only on the condition that April joins the act. Kitty wants to protect April from the stage, but reluctantly agrees. After eight months of performing, Kitty hates being on the stage but, for Kitty's sake, keeps silent about her feelings and Hitch's repeated advances. One night after the show, April meets Tony, a kind young sailor from Wisconsin, and they fall in love. When they become engaged, Kitty is delighted, but the news infuriates Hitch, who wants April to continue the act to support him now that Kitty is a has-been. April tries to reassure Kitty by telling her that she will always stay with her and plans to break her engagement to Tony. Soon after April leaves, Kitty, realizing that her career is over and Hitch has only been using ... +


Burlesque queen Kitty Darling gives birth to a baby girl shortly after learning that her husband has been executed. A few years later, Kitty refuses the marriage proposal of her friend, comic Joe King, because she dreams of "making it big" on Broadway, but takes Joe's suggestion to send her beloved April to a convent school. Years later, Kitty is an alcoholic who still dreams of Broadway. Her current lover, Hitch Nelson, is a two-timing gigolo who demands that Kitty send for the now seventeen-year-old April when he learns that Kitty has been paying for the girl's expensive education. April, who has led a sheltered life, is disgusted by New York's seedy burlesque environment, but her love for Kitty makes her stay. Because Kitty feels that she and Hitch must be married to provide April with the right environment, he agrees, but only on the condition that April joins the act. Kitty wants to protect April from the stage, but reluctantly agrees. After eight months of performing, Kitty hates being on the stage but, for Kitty's sake, keeps silent about her feelings and Hitch's repeated advances. One night after the show, April meets Tony, a kind young sailor from Wisconsin, and they fall in love. When they become engaged, Kitty is delighted, but the news infuriates Hitch, who wants April to continue the act to support him now that Kitty is a has-been. April tries to reassure Kitty by telling her that she will always stay with her and plans to break her engagement to Tony. Soon after April leaves, Kitty, realizing that her career is over and Hitch has only been using her, takes an overdose of sleeping pills. April returns to the theater after telling Tony that she cannot marry him, then goes on stage when Kitty arrives late and appears too drunk to perform. April is a success, but rushes offstage crying. Just then Tony arrives, knowing that April did not mean what she said earlier. Unaware that Kitty has just died, he happily agrees to April's idea to bring her mother with them to Wisconsin. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
with songs


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.