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HISTORY

News items in the 16 May 1923 FD and 19 May 1923 Moving Picture World noted that the picture was made under the working title, Toby Tyler. It was the first feature film based on the 1881 novel of the same name by James Otis.
       In a column called “A Letter From Location” that ran in the Apr 1923 Picture-Play, Jackie Coogan revealed that the production was filming in Sawtelle, CA, a small town near Los Angeles. He also named many of the animals and circus performers he worked with.
       The 8 Jul 1923 FD revealed that the adaptation was comprised of “a thin thread of a story” augmented by comical situations.        As stated in the 12 Jun 1923 FD, producer Sol Lesser held a preview screening on 8 May 1923 in Anaheim, CA, for an audience comprised of West Coast entertainment journalists. The 23 Jun 1923 Moving Picture World announced 30 Jul 1923 as the release date. The world premiere was held at the Balaban & Katz Chicago Theatre on 16 Jul 1923, according to the 21 Jul 1923 Moving Picture World, or on 15 Jul 1923, according to the 11 Aug 1923 Moving Picture World. Critical and public responses were enthusiastic.
       Although various sources state the film’s length as 6,183 feet, the 22 Jul 1923 FD reported it as 5,163 feet.
       A comedy short subject with the same title was released in early 1923 by Educational Pictures, and reviewed in the 5 May 1923 Exhibitors Herald.
       The story ... More Less

News items in the 16 May 1923 FD and 19 May 1923 Moving Picture World noted that the picture was made under the working title, Toby Tyler. It was the first feature film based on the 1881 novel of the same name by James Otis.
       In a column called “A Letter From Location” that ran in the Apr 1923 Picture-Play, Jackie Coogan revealed that the production was filming in Sawtelle, CA, a small town near Los Angeles. He also named many of the animals and circus performers he worked with.
       The 8 Jul 1923 FD revealed that the adaptation was comprised of “a thin thread of a story” augmented by comical situations.        As stated in the 12 Jun 1923 FD, producer Sol Lesser held a preview screening on 8 May 1923 in Anaheim, CA, for an audience comprised of West Coast entertainment journalists. The 23 Jun 1923 Moving Picture World announced 30 Jul 1923 as the release date. The world premiere was held at the Balaban & Katz Chicago Theatre on 16 Jul 1923, according to the 21 Jul 1923 Moving Picture World, or on 15 Jul 1923, according to the 11 Aug 1923 Moving Picture World. Critical and public responses were enthusiastic.
       Although various sources state the film’s length as 6,183 feet, the 22 Jul 1923 FD reported it as 5,163 feet.
       A comedy short subject with the same title was released in early 1923 by Educational Pictures, and reviewed in the 5 May 1923 Exhibitors Herald.
       The story was remade in 1960 under the title Toby Tyler (see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
5 May 1923
p. 76.
Exhibitors Herald
9 Jun 1923
p. 26.
Exhibitors Herald
23 Jun 1923
p. 55.
Exhibitors Herald
21 Jul 1923
p. 80.
Exhibitors Herald
15 Sep 1923
p. 96.
Film Daily
16 May 1923
p. 5.
Film Daily
12 Jun 1923
p. 2.
Film Daily
9 Jul 1923
p. 2.
Film Daily
22 Jul 1923
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Aug 1923
p. 2.
Film Daily
8 Aug 1923
p. 4.
Moving Picture World
19 May 1923
p. 249.
Moving Picture World
23 Jun 1923
p. 679.
Moving Picture World
21 Jul 1923
p. 240.
Moving Picture World
11 Aug 1923
p. 503.
Picture-Play
Apr 1923
p. 23, 24.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Toby Tyler
Release Date:
30 July 1923
Premiere Information:
Chicago premiere: 15 or 16 July 1923
New York opening: the week of 6 August 1923 at the Strand Theatre
Copyright Claimant:
Sol Lesser
Copyright Date:
10 July 1923
Copyright Number:
LP19194
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,183 , 5,163
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Orphan Toby Tyler runs away from his cruel uncle and joins a circus to work as lemonade boy. When a little girl who rides horses bareback becomes ill, Toby saves her from getting fired by putting on a dress and wig and taking her place. After a series of similar misadventures, his talent is discovered, and Toby becomes the star ... +


Orphan Toby Tyler runs away from his cruel uncle and joins a circus to work as lemonade boy. When a little girl who rides horses bareback becomes ill, Toby saves her from getting fired by putting on a dress and wig and taking her place. After a series of similar misadventures, his talent is discovered, and Toby becomes the star clown. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Carnival/Circus


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.