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HISTORY

An item in the 23 Jan 1924 FD reported that Laura D. Wilck, acting as an agent for novelist Margaretta Tuttle, made a “tentative deal” to sell the Feet of Clay film rights to Warner Bros. for $25,000, but that Tuttle independently sold the rights to Famous Players-Lasky for the same price. Wilck sued Tuttle for $2,500.
       Estelle Taylor, a veteran of director Cecil B. De Mille’s earlier The Ten Commandments (1923, see entry), was his first choice to star in Feet of Clay, but because of a personality clash, De Mille replaced her with Vera Reynolds, according to the Dec 1924 Photoplay. The Aug 1924 Picture-Play Magazine claimed Reynolds got the part because she possessed “the comedy girl’s well-known ability to swim and do other athletic stunts.” Among the duties of her role were to take part in a surfboard race with twenty other young women, pulled along by high-speed motorboats, and to spend hours in ocean water.
       De Mille hired wheelchair-bound actor Theodore Roberts to play a bookkeeper, but when Roberts was unable to fulfill the demands of the role, the director replaced him with Victor Varconi, the Oct 1924 Motion Picture Magazine reported. The 2 Aug 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review remarked that character actors Clarence Burton and Roscoe Karns were in the cast.
       For important scenes early in the picture, De Mille filmed at Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. His floating set was Los Angeles oil magnate Edward L. Doheny’s Casiana, “the world’s largest yacht and known in almost every civilized port,” according ... More Less

An item in the 23 Jan 1924 FD reported that Laura D. Wilck, acting as an agent for novelist Margaretta Tuttle, made a “tentative deal” to sell the Feet of Clay film rights to Warner Bros. for $25,000, but that Tuttle independently sold the rights to Famous Players-Lasky for the same price. Wilck sued Tuttle for $2,500.
       Estelle Taylor, a veteran of director Cecil B. De Mille’s earlier The Ten Commandments (1923, see entry), was his first choice to star in Feet of Clay, but because of a personality clash, De Mille replaced her with Vera Reynolds, according to the Dec 1924 Photoplay. The Aug 1924 Picture-Play Magazine claimed Reynolds got the part because she possessed “the comedy girl’s well-known ability to swim and do other athletic stunts.” Among the duties of her role were to take part in a surfboard race with twenty other young women, pulled along by high-speed motorboats, and to spend hours in ocean water.
       De Mille hired wheelchair-bound actor Theodore Roberts to play a bookkeeper, but when Roberts was unable to fulfill the demands of the role, the director replaced him with Victor Varconi, the Oct 1924 Motion Picture Magazine reported. The 2 Aug 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review remarked that character actors Clarence Burton and Roscoe Karns were in the cast.
       For important scenes early in the picture, De Mille filmed at Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. His floating set was Los Angeles oil magnate Edward L. Doheny’s Casiana, “the world’s largest yacht and known in almost every civilized port,” according to the Aug 1924 Photoplay.
       The 26 Jul 1924 Moving Picture World noted that De Mille was “nearing the completion” of Feet of Clay.
       An item in the 6 Sep 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review mentioned that H. M. Walker was writing the titles.
       The film’s strangest scene followed an attempted gas suicide by lead characters “Kerry Harlan” and “Amy Loring.” As described in the Dec 1924 Motion Picture Magazine, a “great boat-load of people, supposedly dead, crossed the River Styx into the Great Beyond, including vast numbers of big blacks, Japanese, Russians, Italians—men and women of every race and every grade of intelligence, as well as many highly intelligent extras, none of whom spoke a common tongue.” To keep actors and extras in the proper mood, a seven-piece studio orchestra played “The Song of the Volga Boatman” in “weird, low penetrating chords.” One extra, who told the magazine writer he “felt as tho I had really died,” described the music as “a mysterious throbbing in the air” that sent “chills running up and down my back.” The River Styx crossing may have been one of the “two elaborate sets” specially designed by Norman Bel Geddes for the film, according to the 14 Jun 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review. Among the designers was “technical director” Roy Pomeroy who, the 28 Jun 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review noted, was “preparing several startling effects in line with his reputation as a creator of unusual thrills.”
       Feet of Clay was set to open for two weeks in New York City at Broadway’s Rivoli Theatre on 21 Sep 1924, according to the 9 Sep 1924 FD, then move for the week of 5 Oct 1924 to the Rialto, another Broadway venue. The 25 Sep 1924 FD described the Rivoli’s opening program as an overture by the house orchestra, a film presentation of the U.S. Presidential candidates in De Forest Phonofilm’s “The Major Issues of the Campaign,” an aria by soprano Miriam Lax, and a routine by the Myrtle Immel dancers. The film did “big business” at the Rivoli, according to the 28 Sep 1924 FD. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
14 Jun 1924
p. 23.
Exhibitors Trade Review
28 Jun 1924
p. 57.
Exhibitors Trade Review
2 Aug 1924
p. 12.
Exhibitors Trade Review
6 Sep 1924
p. 19.
Exhibitors Trade Review
4 Oct 1924
p. 38.
Film Daily
23 Jan 1924
p. 6.
Film Daily
9 Sep 1924
p. 6.
Film Daily
25 Sep 1924
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Sep 1924
p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
31 Oct 1926
Section C, p. 25.
Motion Picture Magazine
Oct 1924
p. 78.
Motion Picture Magazine
Dec 1924
p. 114.
Moving Picture World
26 Jul 1924
p. 260.
Photoplay
Aug 1924
p. 93.
Photoplay
Dec 1924
p. 97, 130.
Picture-Play Magazine
Aug 1924
p. 59.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Tech dir
SET DECORATOR
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Feet of Clay by Margaretta Tuttle (Boston & New York, 1923).
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 September 1924
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 September 1924
Copyright Claimant:
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 September 1924
Copyright Number:
LP20598
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
9,746
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

After being injured in a battle with a shark, Kerry Harlan is unable to work, and his youthful wife, Amy, becomes a fashion model. While she is away, his surgeon's wife, Bertha, tries to force her attentions on Kerry and is accidentally killed in an attempt to evade her husband. Amy is courted by Tony Channing following the scandal, but she returns to her husband and finds him near death from gas fumes. As they both attempt suicide, their spirits are rejected by "the other world," and learning the truth from Bertha's spirit they fight their way back to ... +


After being injured in a battle with a shark, Kerry Harlan is unable to work, and his youthful wife, Amy, becomes a fashion model. While she is away, his surgeon's wife, Bertha, tries to force her attentions on Kerry and is accidentally killed in an attempt to evade her husband. Amy is courted by Tony Channing following the scandal, but she returns to her husband and finds him near death from gas fumes. As they both attempt suicide, their spirits are rejected by "the other world," and learning the truth from Bertha's spirit they fight their way back to life. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Society


Subject
Subject (Major):

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.