Skyline (1931)

57 or 70 mins | Drama | 11 October 1931

Director:

Sam Taylor

Cinematographer:

John Mescall

Editor:

Harold Schuster

Production Designer:

Duncan Cramer

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

Although the screen credits state that the film was based on Felix Riesenberg's novel, it may also have been based on a 1927 play derived from the novel written by Riesenberg and Fay Pulsifer, as the file for the film in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library includes a copy of the play. The working title of the film was East Side, West Side. The "dialogue taken from the screen" dated 20 Aug 1931 in the Produced Scripts Collection contains a different ending than the one in the viewed print; in the first ending, McClellan dies from his injuries, and after Judge Scott dedicates the skyscraper as a monument to McClellan, John tells Kathleen that he could not have stood losing his father if he had not found her. According to a May 1931 pre-production news item in FD, J. M. Kerrigan, William Holden (d. 1932) and Kendall McComas were to have featured parts, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Skyline was the working title of both Delicious and Quick Millions, two other Fox releases of 1931 (see entries). The 1927 Fox film East Side, West Side , directed by Allan Dwan and starring George O'Brien and Virginia Valli, was also based on the Riesenberg novel (see ... More Less

Although the screen credits state that the film was based on Felix Riesenberg's novel, it may also have been based on a 1927 play derived from the novel written by Riesenberg and Fay Pulsifer, as the file for the film in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library includes a copy of the play. The working title of the film was East Side, West Side. The "dialogue taken from the screen" dated 20 Aug 1931 in the Produced Scripts Collection contains a different ending than the one in the viewed print; in the first ending, McClellan dies from his injuries, and after Judge Scott dedicates the skyscraper as a monument to McClellan, John tells Kathleen that he could not have stood losing his father if he had not found her. According to a May 1931 pre-production news item in FD, J. M. Kerrigan, William Holden (d. 1932) and Kendall McComas were to have featured parts, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Skyline was the working title of both Delicious and Quick Millions, two other Fox releases of 1931 (see entries). The 1927 Fox film East Side, West Side , directed by Allan Dwan and starring George O'Brien and Virginia Valli, was also based on the Riesenberg novel (see entry). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
22 May 1931
p. 8.
Film Daily
11 Oct 1931
p. 10.
Hollywood Filmograph
11 Jul 1931
p. 20.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jan 1931
p. 44.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Aug 1931.
---
New York Times
5 Oct 1931
p. 17.
Variety
6 Oct 1931
p. 29.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Sam Taylor Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr and dial
Scr and dial
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel East Side, West Side by Felix Riesenberg (New York, 1927).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
East Side, West Side
Release Date:
11 October 1931
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 3 October 1931
Production Date:
1 June--mid June 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
20 August 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2456
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
57 or 70
Length(in feet):
6,279
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Rose Breen, lying sick in bed aboard her husband's barge in the East River, tells her son John that her husband, the abusive, drunken captain of the barge, is not his father. After Rose dies, John fights the captain when he insults the memory of his mother. After knocking him cold, John, who wants to build skyscrapers like those he sees from the water, swims to shore. He falls into the back of a truck, which dumps him onto a street, and then wanders until he comes to a construction site, where he faints and falls into a hole. He is about to be lifted up in a back hoe, when the hoe's operator, Mike Kearny, spots him and brings him to consciousness. Learning that John is Irish like himself and that he wants to work on a skyscraper, Kearny brings John home, where he becomes friends with Kearny's daughter Kathleen. When Kearny's boss, engineer Gordon A. McClellan, inspects the fortieth floor of a building under construction, John bribes a messenger to let him bring some plans up to McClellan. Not used to the height, John starts to faint. McClellan catches him, but they both fall on some boards below. McClellan berates John and orders him to leave, but John later convinces McClellan of his desire to work. After he hires John as a laborer on the ground, McClellan grows to like him. When Judge Scott declines McClellan's invitation to watch the fights, McClellan asks John, who is extremely delighted. John soon begins night school at an engineering college. When he tells "Mac," as he now calls McClellan, about his ... +


Rose Breen, lying sick in bed aboard her husband's barge in the East River, tells her son John that her husband, the abusive, drunken captain of the barge, is not his father. After Rose dies, John fights the captain when he insults the memory of his mother. After knocking him cold, John, who wants to build skyscrapers like those he sees from the water, swims to shore. He falls into the back of a truck, which dumps him onto a street, and then wanders until he comes to a construction site, where he faints and falls into a hole. He is about to be lifted up in a back hoe, when the hoe's operator, Mike Kearny, spots him and brings him to consciousness. Learning that John is Irish like himself and that he wants to work on a skyscraper, Kearny brings John home, where he becomes friends with Kearny's daughter Kathleen. When Kearny's boss, engineer Gordon A. McClellan, inspects the fortieth floor of a building under construction, John bribes a messenger to let him bring some plans up to McClellan. Not used to the height, John starts to faint. McClellan catches him, but they both fall on some boards below. McClellan berates John and orders him to leave, but John later convinces McClellan of his desire to work. After he hires John as a laborer on the ground, McClellan grows to like him. When Judge Scott declines McClellan's invitation to watch the fights, McClellan asks John, who is extremely delighted. John soon begins night school at an engineering college. When he tells "Mac," as he now calls McClellan, about his past and shows him his mother's locket, Mac, who was Rose's first husband, realizes he is John's father, but he refrains from admitting it when he sees how angry John gets when he talks about the father he never knew. John, who had planned to marry Kathleen after he finished school, becomes infatuated with Paula Lambert, whom he does not know is Mac's ex-lover. Mac lends John money to go to Columbia University's School of Engineering in the fall. When John tells Kathleen that he plans to move into Mac's Park Avenue apartment, Kathleen becomes upset. Upon learning of John's love for Paula, Mac tries to tell him that she isn't right for him, but John ignores Mac's advice. After Mac insults her, Paula, who still loves Mac, threatens to take John away from Kathleen. Judge Scott then suggests to Mac that he take Paula away from John to save him from her. After buying an engagement ring for Paula, John finds Mac in her room. Hurt and angry, he vows not to trust anyone again and makes plans to leave town. Mac then confesses to being John's father. John demands that he leave him, and when Mac refuses, John hits him. Judge Scott mollifies John and tells him that Mac lost track of his wife after his father died and he had to leave her; he made every effort to find her, and has not really loved anyone else since. Feeling guilty about the way he acted, John goes to the construction site, but learns that Mac has fallen from the third floor. When Mac revives, John is there. He asks forgiveness and calls him "Dad," which Mac appreciates. Later, Mac listens over the radio to the ceremony honoring the opening of the skyscraper. His firm is now called McClellan and Son, and Kathleen, who is with him, calls him "Dad." +

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

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