Girls Demand Excitement (1931)

64 or 68 mins | Comedy-drama | 8 February 1931

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HISTORY

This film was based on an unpublished and uncopyrighted story by Harlan Thompson entitled "Neck and Neck," which was one of the working titles of the film. Other working titles were Menace for Men , Hot Numbers , On the Make , Waiting at the Church and Time Out . According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Thompson originally based his work on two other stories, "Hot Numbers," an unpublished story by Russell Medcraft and Ray Harris, and "Sweetheart of the Campus," a short story by Hagar Wilde, published in Modern Girl Stories Magazine (Oct 1929). Thompson later completely rewrote the story, and according to the legal records, by the time it was filmed, it was entirely original. Girls Demand Excitement was the title of a short story, the motion picture rights of which were owned by Fox, which was written by Joseph Hilton Smyth and Porter Emerson Browne, and published in the 1 Mar 1930 issue of Collier's Weekly . That story bears no similarity to this film. Virginia Cherrill co-starred in Charles Chaplin's City Lights (see above), which had its premiere the same week that this film was released. Reviews advised exhibitors to exploit her appearance in the Chaplin film. According to modern sources, this was the first film directed by Seymour Felix, a Broadway choreographer. Contemporary reviewers commented that the film resembled a musical without the musical numbers. Modern sources note that after the box-office failure of John Wayne's previous film, the big budget Western The Big ... More Less

This film was based on an unpublished and uncopyrighted story by Harlan Thompson entitled "Neck and Neck," which was one of the working titles of the film. Other working titles were Menace for Men , Hot Numbers , On the Make , Waiting at the Church and Time Out . According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Thompson originally based his work on two other stories, "Hot Numbers," an unpublished story by Russell Medcraft and Ray Harris, and "Sweetheart of the Campus," a short story by Hagar Wilde, published in Modern Girl Stories Magazine (Oct 1929). Thompson later completely rewrote the story, and according to the legal records, by the time it was filmed, it was entirely original. Girls Demand Excitement was the title of a short story, the motion picture rights of which were owned by Fox, which was written by Joseph Hilton Smyth and Porter Emerson Browne, and published in the 1 Mar 1930 issue of Collier's Weekly . That story bears no similarity to this film. Virginia Cherrill co-starred in Charles Chaplin's City Lights (see above), which had its premiere the same week that this film was released. Reviews advised exhibitors to exploit her appearance in the Chaplin film. According to modern sources, this was the first film directed by Seymour Felix, a Broadway choreographer. Contemporary reviewers commented that the film resembled a musical without the musical numbers. Modern sources note that after the box-office failure of John Wayne's previous film, the big budget Western The Big Trail , he was relegated to collegiate roles. Modern sources also state that Wayne considered this film to be very likely the worst of his career. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
EHW
27 Dec 30
p. 28.
Film Daily
8 Feb 31
p. 10.
HF
20 Dec 30
p. 24.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Feb 31
pp. 69-70.
New York Times
7 Feb 31
p. 11.
Variety
11 Feb 31
p. 29.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hot Numbers
Menace for Men
On the Make
Time Out
Waiting at the Church
Neck and Neck
Release Date:
8 February 1931
Production Date:
began 24 November 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 January 1931
Copyright Number:
LP1943
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
64 or 68
Length(in feet):
6,050
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Gardener Peter Brooks jokes with his fellow worker Joe about the fourth engagement ring his employer's daughter, Joan Madison, has received in two months. He then writes an insulting diary entry about her in his pocket notebook. When Peter learns that Joan plans to have his garden work torn up for a lawn party, he complains to her frustrated father that she is a spoiled, pampered, headstrong brat. After Peter and Joe, working in a tree, spy Joan with a new fawning admirer, Peter drops his notebook, which Joan then reads. When he states he is keeping records on her for his college thesis on abnormal psychology, she fires him. The two meet again when Joan visits Bradford College, where Peter is the president of the Spartan Club, a group that seeks through an upcoming vote to change the school back to a male-only college from the coeducational school it has been for five years. Joan decides to stay to help the girls win the vote, and she encourages them each to snag two or three boys and then withhold kissing and petting privileges until they agree to vote to keep the status quo. Attempting to make a conquest of Peter, Joan enrolls in his experimental psychology class and arranges for the teacher to select Peter and her as participants in a kissing experiment. Their kiss, which is preceded by Joan's look of sincere affection, causes both meters attached to them to rise dramatically. However, Peter then learns that the experiment was rigged and storms out. That evening, after a meeting during which some Spartans, hungering for female favors, urge Peter to release ... +


Gardener Peter Brooks jokes with his fellow worker Joe about the fourth engagement ring his employer's daughter, Joan Madison, has received in two months. He then writes an insulting diary entry about her in his pocket notebook. When Peter learns that Joan plans to have his garden work torn up for a lawn party, he complains to her frustrated father that she is a spoiled, pampered, headstrong brat. After Peter and Joe, working in a tree, spy Joan with a new fawning admirer, Peter drops his notebook, which Joan then reads. When he states he is keeping records on her for his college thesis on abnormal psychology, she fires him. The two meet again when Joan visits Bradford College, where Peter is the president of the Spartan Club, a group that seeks through an upcoming vote to change the school back to a male-only college from the coeducational school it has been for five years. Joan decides to stay to help the girls win the vote, and she encourages them each to snag two or three boys and then withhold kissing and petting privileges until they agree to vote to keep the status quo. Attempting to make a conquest of Peter, Joan enrolls in his experimental psychology class and arranges for the teacher to select Peter and her as participants in a kissing experiment. Their kiss, which is preceded by Joan's look of sincere affection, causes both meters attached to them to rise dramatically. However, Peter then learns that the experiment was rigged and storms out. That evening, after a meeting during which some Spartans, hungering for female favors, urge Peter to release the proxy votes they earlier granted him, he refuses and leads a parade through the campus. After he complains in a speech that the admission of girls has ruined campus athletics, Joan challenges the Spartans to a basketball game against the girls. She encourages her teammates to use sex appeal to distract the boys and the strategy succeeds in the first half, during which Peter does not play because of an injured leg. With Peter playing, the boys take the lead in the second half before Peter trips over Joan and knocks her out. Greatly concerned, he carries her off, but when he learns of her stunt, he leaves in a huff. The night before the vote, Joan and her friends throw a party, during which Joan flirts with a new Spartan. After stealing his clothes, she sneaks into the Spartan Club and hides in Peter's room. When he returns, Joan gives him an ultimatum of either giving up his proxy votes or having her be found in his room, which would eliminate his chance to vote. Peter calls her names, and Joan starts to remove her clothes, which provokes a struggle, just as the dean, tipped off, enters. The next day, as the balloting is nearly over, the dean informs Peter, who has refused to implicate Joan, that she has confessed the truth about the incident because she loves him. Although he is now free to vote, Peter dallies until the balloting is over and the girls win. After Peter and Joan see couples embracing all over the campus, Peter gives her his notebook, which she tosses, and they kiss. +

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

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