Piccadilly Jim (1936)

87,90,95,98 or 100 mins | Comedy | 14 August 1936

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Producer:

Harry Rapf

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Editor:

William S. Gray

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

In P. G. Wodehouse's novel, which was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, "Jim" and "Ann" are cousins by marriage, and "Jim" is a magazine writer who publishes a scathing review of Ann's poetry. Although this and other aspects of the stories differ, many of the characterizations and situations are similar in the novel and film. According to news items in HR, the film was initially to be produced by then M-G-M producer David O. Selznick in early 1935, with songs provided by Harold Adamson and Burton Lane. A 26 Oct 1934 news item in HR notes that Rowland Lee was assigned by Selznick to complete work on the screenplay, which was initially written by Robert Benchley. J. Walter Ruben was set to direct the picture at that time, and Chester Hale was said to be working on dances for the picture in early Nov 1934. The production was "shelved" in 1935, then re-scheduled for late 1935, when writers Brian Marlow and Edwin Knopf were assigned to write the script. Harlan Ware was then added to the writing staff, followed by Manny Seff , who was to polish the script with Knopf after Marlow and Ware completed their work. All writers left the project in early Sep 1935, with the exception of Knopf, who received co-screenplay credit with Charles Brackett. SAB credits Lynn Starling and Samuel Hoffenstein with contributions to the dialogue, but does not credit any other writers, aside from Brackett and Knopf. Wodehouse's novel was also the basis for a 1919 Lewis Selznick picture, directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Owen Moore and Zena Keefe (see ...

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In P. G. Wodehouse's novel, which was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, "Jim" and "Ann" are cousins by marriage, and "Jim" is a magazine writer who publishes a scathing review of Ann's poetry. Although this and other aspects of the stories differ, many of the characterizations and situations are similar in the novel and film. According to news items in HR, the film was initially to be produced by then M-G-M producer David O. Selznick in early 1935, with songs provided by Harold Adamson and Burton Lane. A 26 Oct 1934 news item in HR notes that Rowland Lee was assigned by Selznick to complete work on the screenplay, which was initially written by Robert Benchley. J. Walter Ruben was set to direct the picture at that time, and Chester Hale was said to be working on dances for the picture in early Nov 1934. The production was "shelved" in 1935, then re-scheduled for late 1935, when writers Brian Marlow and Edwin Knopf were assigned to write the script. Harlan Ware was then added to the writing staff, followed by Manny Seff , who was to polish the script with Knopf after Marlow and Ware completed their work. All writers left the project in early Sep 1935, with the exception of Knopf, who received co-screenplay credit with Charles Brackett. SAB credits Lynn Starling and Samuel Hoffenstein with contributions to the dialogue, but does not credit any other writers, aside from Brackett and Knopf. Wodehouse's novel was also the basis for a 1919 Lewis Selznick picture, directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Owen Moore and Zena Keefe (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.3445).

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1936
p. 3
Film Daily
6 Aug 1936
p. 14
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 1934
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 1934
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 1934
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 1935
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1935
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 1935
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 1935
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 1936
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 1936
p. 15
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 1936
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
4 Aug 1936
p. 6
Motion Picture Herald
18 Jul 1936
p. 60
Motion Picture Herald
15 Aug 1936
p. 59
New York Times
31 Aug 1936
p. 19
Variety
2 Sep 1936
p. 18
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Z. Leonard Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Edwin Knopf
Scr
Contr to dial
Contr to dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Joseph Wright
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Piccadilly Jim by P. G. Wodehouse (London, 1917).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 August 1936
Production Date:
9 Jun--16 Jul 1936
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
10 August 1936
LP6562
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87,90,95,98 or 100
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2456
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

American playboy Jim Crocker is a popular London cartoonist known as "Piccadilly Jim," whose confidants are his father, a perpetually unemployed Shakespearean actor, and Bayliss, his impeccable valet. When James Crocker reports to his son that he has fallen in love and wants to marry Eugenia Willis, everything seems fine, except that Eugenia's sister, Nesta Pett, and her brother-in-law, Herbert Pett, the "Rag King" of America, do not approve of James, whom they think is a fortune hunter. To alleviate their fears, James has told them that Jim is a world renown artist, like Michelangelo. That night, while out on the town, Jim meets Ann Chester and becomes immediately infatuated with her, but because she is escorted by Lord Freddie Priory, she will not reveal her name or address. He tries to see her again the next day, which she is riding, but she still is cool to him. He then remembers that he was supposed to meet with Eugenia's social climbing sister and brother-in-law and shows up drunk, alienating Nesta, who also thinks that Jim's caricatures are not socially acceptable. Though Eugenia and James are worried, Jim assures them that everything will be all right, but soon receives a dismissal notice from his editor because of overdue deadlines. The Petts then take Eugenia to the Continent. While James worries about her, Jim tries unsuccessfully to find Ann. As a depressed Jim idly sketches a few caricatures of the Pett family, Bayliss suggests that they are hilarious and Jim decides to turn the family's antics into a cartoon strip. The strip, called "From Rags to Riches," featuring the "Richwitch Family," becomes the ...

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American playboy Jim Crocker is a popular London cartoonist known as "Piccadilly Jim," whose confidants are his father, a perpetually unemployed Shakespearean actor, and Bayliss, his impeccable valet. When James Crocker reports to his son that he has fallen in love and wants to marry Eugenia Willis, everything seems fine, except that Eugenia's sister, Nesta Pett, and her brother-in-law, Herbert Pett, the "Rag King" of America, do not approve of James, whom they think is a fortune hunter. To alleviate their fears, James has told them that Jim is a world renown artist, like Michelangelo. That night, while out on the town, Jim meets Ann Chester and becomes immediately infatuated with her, but because she is escorted by Lord Freddie Priory, she will not reveal her name or address. He tries to see her again the next day, which she is riding, but she still is cool to him. He then remembers that he was supposed to meet with Eugenia's social climbing sister and brother-in-law and shows up drunk, alienating Nesta, who also thinks that Jim's caricatures are not socially acceptable. Though Eugenia and James are worried, Jim assures them that everything will be all right, but soon receives a dismissal notice from his editor because of overdue deadlines. The Petts then take Eugenia to the Continent. While James worries about her, Jim tries unsuccessfully to find Ann. As a depressed Jim idly sketches a few caricatures of the Pett family, Bayliss suggests that they are hilarious and Jim decides to turn the family's antics into a cartoon strip. The strip, called "From Rags to Riches," featuring the "Richwitch Family," becomes the hit of London, so that when the Petts return to England, they are greeted with howls of laughter by fans who recognize them as the Richwitch prototypes. The Petts are even more furious with Jim, and Ann, who turns out to be the Petts's niece, vows to get even if she ever meets "Piccadilly Jim." When James shows Jim the family's picture in the paper, he recognizes Ann and goes to her, but does not reveal his identity. After an afternoon with her, he decides to follow her and the Petts to the United States, posing as Bayliss' son, and resolves to make his characters more benevolent. As a result, Americans reading the strip love the "Richwitch" family and the Petts revel in the attention. Ann soon learns Jim's real identity, though, and is furious. When Jim goes to the Pett home to see Ann, who refuses to accept his daily gifts, the Petts are delighted to see him and say that Eugenia is now engaged to a Danish Count named Olav Osrio (whom Nesta and Herbert fail to notice is actually a bearded James) and Ann is engaged to Freddy. Because Bayliss has suspected that Freddy is a bogus aristocrat, Jim tries to discredit him, but at a dinner party at the Pett home Jim's plan backfires. When he promises to "unmask" the imposter, the count stands up and confesses that he is really James, and Freddy turns out to be a genuine lord. Finally determining that everything has gone wrong for him and Ann, Jim decides to leave after offering to bestow a generous dowery on Eugenia and his father. On the boat back to England, Jim finally is victorious when Ann arrives, deciding she would have more fun being his wife than Freddy's.

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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.