Lucky Star (1929)

85 mins | Melodrama | 18 August 1929

Full page view
HISTORY

The film viewed was a commercial DVD copy of a print found in the Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam. As stated in an onscreen preface to the DVD: "The American intertitles have been partially re-created based on the shot continuity deposited at the Library of Congress, on the manuscript of the scenario and on the Dutch intertitles." The only cast and crew credits on the DVD were for William Fox, Frank Borzage, Tristram Tupper, and the cast members listed.
       Although contemporary reviews indicate that there were sound effects and some brief dialogue sequences when the film played theatrically, there was neither dialogue nor sound on the print viewed.
       The 25 Jan 1929 FD announced the forthcoming Fox Film Corp. production, Lucky Star, with Frank Borzage set to direct, and Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in the leading roles. According to a production directory in the 20 Apr 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, the starting date was 22 Jan 1929.
       The 10 Feb 1929 FD reported that Fox art director Harry Oliver had completed the set designs for the picture.
       Actress Virginia Sale was reportedly hired to appear in the picture, as indicated in the 11 Mar 1929 FD. However, contemporary sources did not include her in cast listings.
       According to the 3 Apr 1929 FD, Lucky Star began as a silent film, with dialogue planned to be added.
       On 5 Apr 1929, FD announced that the principal photography would soon be completed.
       The 17 Apr 1929 Var confirmed that a sound version was to be made by director Frank Borzage. However, the 28 ... More Less

The film viewed was a commercial DVD copy of a print found in the Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam. As stated in an onscreen preface to the DVD: "The American intertitles have been partially re-created based on the shot continuity deposited at the Library of Congress, on the manuscript of the scenario and on the Dutch intertitles." The only cast and crew credits on the DVD were for William Fox, Frank Borzage, Tristram Tupper, and the cast members listed.
       Although contemporary reviews indicate that there were sound effects and some brief dialogue sequences when the film played theatrically, there was neither dialogue nor sound on the print viewed.
       The 25 Jan 1929 FD announced the forthcoming Fox Film Corp. production, Lucky Star, with Frank Borzage set to direct, and Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in the leading roles. According to a production directory in the 20 Apr 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, the starting date was 22 Jan 1929.
       The 10 Feb 1929 FD reported that Fox art director Harry Oliver had completed the set designs for the picture.
       Actress Virginia Sale was reportedly hired to appear in the picture, as indicated in the 11 Mar 1929 FD. However, contemporary sources did not include her in cast listings.
       According to the 3 Apr 1929 FD, Lucky Star began as a silent film, with dialogue planned to be added.
       On 5 Apr 1929, FD announced that the principal photography would soon be completed.
       The 17 Apr 1929 Var confirmed that a sound version was to be made by director Frank Borzage. However, the 28 Jul 1929 FD review reported that only the last two reels of the film contained dialogue. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald-World
20 Apr 1929
p. 50.
Film Daily
25 Jan 1929
p. 6.
Film Daily
10 Feb 1929.
---
Film Daily
11 Mar 1929
p. 2.
Film Daily
3 Apr 1929
p. 6.
Film Daily
5 Apr 1929
p. 4.
Film Daily
28 Jul 1929
p. 8.
New York Times
22 Jul 1929
p. 17.
Variety
17 Apr 1929
p. 31.
Variety
24 Jul 1929
p. 29.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SOUND
Rec eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Three Episodes in the Life of Timothy Osborn" by Tristram Tupper in The Saturday Evening Post (9 Apr 1927).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Lucky Star
Release Date:
18 August 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 20 July 1929
Production Date:
began 22 January 1929
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 August 1929
Copyright Number:
LP569
Physical Properties:
Silent with sound sequences
Mus score, talking seq, and sd eff by Movietone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si; 8,725 ft.
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
8,784
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Sixteen-year-old Mary Tucker is a drudge on the impoverished farm of her widowed mother, a woman whose rough demeanor masks the fact that she wants to give her children a better life than she has had. One afternoon, when Mary is selling lunches to a group of linesmen, she tries to cheat foreman Martin Wrenn out of a nickel. Thinking that Wrenn is the one who is a cheat, linesman Tim Osborne defends her, but when he learns that she is at fault, he gives her a spanking. She, in turn, bites him, then later throws a rock through his window, even though she is attracted to him. That day, the men learn that the United States is entering the war. Tim enlists and soon is serving with Wrenn in France. Mary writes to both of them, but only Tim is touched by her offer to knit them socks. Tim is badly wounded in a battlefield explosion and returns home in a wheelchair. By now, Mary is eighteen and shyly goes to Tim's cottage to see him. The two strike up a friendship, and Tim teaches the petite but unkempt Mary, whom he nicknames "Baa-baa," how to wash her hair and keep herself clean. Sometime later, Mary sees a pretty outfit in a store window and uses money she has hidden from her mother to buy it to attend a local dance. After sneaking out of the house, she goes to Tim's cottage and changes before the dance. By now, Tim knows that he is in love with Mary, just as she loves him, but feels that his confinement to a wheelchair ... +


Sixteen-year-old Mary Tucker is a drudge on the impoverished farm of her widowed mother, a woman whose rough demeanor masks the fact that she wants to give her children a better life than she has had. One afternoon, when Mary is selling lunches to a group of linesmen, she tries to cheat foreman Martin Wrenn out of a nickel. Thinking that Wrenn is the one who is a cheat, linesman Tim Osborne defends her, but when he learns that she is at fault, he gives her a spanking. She, in turn, bites him, then later throws a rock through his window, even though she is attracted to him. That day, the men learn that the United States is entering the war. Tim enlists and soon is serving with Wrenn in France. Mary writes to both of them, but only Tim is touched by her offer to knit them socks. Tim is badly wounded in a battlefield explosion and returns home in a wheelchair. By now, Mary is eighteen and shyly goes to Tim's cottage to see him. The two strike up a friendship, and Tim teaches the petite but unkempt Mary, whom he nicknames "Baa-baa," how to wash her hair and keep herself clean. Sometime later, Mary sees a pretty outfit in a store window and uses money she has hidden from her mother to buy it to attend a local dance. After sneaking out of the house, she goes to Tim's cottage and changes before the dance. By now, Tim knows that he is in love with Mary, just as she loves him, but feels that his confinement to a wheelchair makes their marriage impossible. When Mary goes to the dance, Wrenn, who is no longer in the army but likes to impress the local girls with his sergeant's uniform, dances with Mary and determines to have her. He soon proposes, ingratiating himself with Mrs. Tucker and impressing her with his prospects. Although Mary does not want to marry Wrenn, Mrs. Tucker insists that her daughter stop seeing Tim “a cripple,” and marry Wrenn to have a better life. The day before Wrenn is scheduled to take Mary away with him, Tim has promised Mary to visit and speak with her mother, but a snowstorm makes travelling in his wheelchair impossible, even with help from his friend Joe. Determined to do something, Tim goes back into his cottage and tries to stand up, then starts to walk on crutches. By the next day, he is able to walk to the Tucker farm, but Wrenn has already taken Mary with him to the train station. Tim rushes to the station and fights with Wrenn. Joe and other local men, who know that Wren is a cad, help him, and Wrenn is placed on the departing train. Now well again, Tim and Mary embrace and look forward to the future together. +

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.