Playing Around (1930)

64 mins | Melodrama | 19 January 1930

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HISTORY

The 1 Jun 1929 Hollywood Filmograph announced that Alice White would star in the film adaptation of Viña Delmar’s short story “Sheba,” to be released as Playing Around by First National Pictures, Inc. One week earlier, the 22 May 1929 Var had reported that Clara Bow would appear in a Paramount Publix Corp. release, also titled Playing Around, but that film was soon retitled True to the Navy (1930, see entry).
       Ted Wilde was named as the director in the 10 Jul 1929 FD, but the 22 Jul 1929 issue stated that Mervyn LeRoy would direct. Meanwhile, Wilde was transferred to another First National picture, Loose Ankles (1930, see entry), according to the 18 Aug 1929 FD.
       On 12 Aug 1929, FD announced that Adele Commandini was currently writing the adaptation. Although the 11 Sep 1929 Var indicated that writer Robert Lord was also contributing to the scenario, onscreen credit went to Commandini and Frances Nordstrom.
       Principal photography began on 9 Sep 1929 at First National Studios in Burbank, CA, as noted in the 26 Oct 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World. On 23 Oct 1929, Var listed the picture as “finished but not yet generally released.” The 26 Oct 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World confirmed that principal photography had ended earlier that week.
       The 18 Sep 1929, 25 Sep 1929, and 9 Oct 1929 issues of Var named Helen Wehrle, Kernan Cripps, and Maxine Cantwell as cast members. The 19 Oct 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World stated that Humphrey Pearson and Harvey Thew were ... More Less

The 1 Jun 1929 Hollywood Filmograph announced that Alice White would star in the film adaptation of Viña Delmar’s short story “Sheba,” to be released as Playing Around by First National Pictures, Inc. One week earlier, the 22 May 1929 Var had reported that Clara Bow would appear in a Paramount Publix Corp. release, also titled Playing Around, but that film was soon retitled True to the Navy (1930, see entry).
       Ted Wilde was named as the director in the 10 Jul 1929 FD, but the 22 Jul 1929 issue stated that Mervyn LeRoy would direct. Meanwhile, Wilde was transferred to another First National picture, Loose Ankles (1930, see entry), according to the 18 Aug 1929 FD.
       On 12 Aug 1929, FD announced that Adele Commandini was currently writing the adaptation. Although the 11 Sep 1929 Var indicated that writer Robert Lord was also contributing to the scenario, onscreen credit went to Commandini and Frances Nordstrom.
       Principal photography began on 9 Sep 1929 at First National Studios in Burbank, CA, as noted in the 26 Oct 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World. On 23 Oct 1929, Var listed the picture as “finished but not yet generally released.” The 26 Oct 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World confirmed that principal photography had ended earlier that week.
       The 18 Sep 1929, 25 Sep 1929, and 9 Oct 1929 issues of Var named Helen Wehrle, Kernan Cripps, and Maxine Cantwell as cast members. The 19 Oct 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World stated that Humphrey Pearson and Harvey Thew were collaborating on the dialogue, but only Pearson received onscreen credit.
       A release date of 19 Jan 1930 was cited in the 29 Dec 1929 FD. Playing Around later opened in New York City at the Mark Strand Theatre on 28 Mar 1930, according to the 2 Apr 1930 Var review. The 30 Mar 1930 FD review deemed the picture a “good programmer” and praised the “well handled” direction. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald-World
10 Aug 1929
p. 27.
Exhibitors Herald-World
21 Sep 1929
p. 45.
Exhibitors Herald-World
19 Oct 1929
p. 38.
Exhibitors Herald-World
26 Oct 1929
pp. 45-46.
Exhibitors Herald-World
23 Nov 1929
p. 43.
Film Daily
10 Jul 1929
p. 6.
Film Daily
22 Jul 1929
p. 7.
Film Daily
12 Aug 1929
p. 10.
Film Daily
18 Aug 1929
p. 7.
Film Daily
29 Dec 1929
p. 10.
Film Daily
30 Mar 1930
p. 11.
Hollywood Filmograph
1 Jun 1929
p. 6.
Motion Picture News
10 Aug 1929
p. 608.
New York Times
31 Mar 1930
p. 24.
Variety
22 May 1929
p. 7.
Variety
11 Sep 1930
p. 6.
Variety
18 Sep 1930
p. 32.
Variety
25 Sep 1930
p. 55.
Variety
9 Oct 1929
p. 67.
Variety
23 Oct 1929
p. 7.
Variety
22 Jan 1930
p. 42.
Variety
2 Apr 1930
p. 30.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOUND
Rec eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Sheba" by Viña Delmar (publication date undetermined).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"You're My Captain Kidd," "That's the Low-down on the Low-down," "Learn About Love Every Day" and "Playing Around," words and music by Sam H. Stept and Bud Green.
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 January 1930
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 28 March 1930
Production Date:
9 September--mid October 1929
Copyright Claimant:
First National Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 January 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1043
Physical Properties:
Sound
Vitaphone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si.
Duration(in mins):
64
Length(in feet):
5,972
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Sheba Miller, a stenographer with a desire for luxuries, lives with her elderly father, who operates a cigar counter. Though adored by Jack, a soda jerker, she will not consider marrying him unless he receives a long-anticipated raise. Jack takes her out to the Pirate's Den, an exclusive nightclub, where Sheba defiantly enters a leg contest and is awarded the prize by Nickey Solomon, a gangster, who is the judge. Impressed by Nickey's flashy car and grooming, she accepts his attentions and finally his marriage proposal, though Jack and Pa Miller are both dubious about him. Finding himself without money for their honeymoon, Nickey robs Miller's cigar counter and shoots him; but Jack's identification of Nickey leads to his arrest. Pa Miller recovers; and Sheba, chastened by her experience, agrees to marry Jack, who gets his ... +


Sheba Miller, a stenographer with a desire for luxuries, lives with her elderly father, who operates a cigar counter. Though adored by Jack, a soda jerker, she will not consider marrying him unless he receives a long-anticipated raise. Jack takes her out to the Pirate's Den, an exclusive nightclub, where Sheba defiantly enters a leg contest and is awarded the prize by Nickey Solomon, a gangster, who is the judge. Impressed by Nickey's flashy car and grooming, she accepts his attentions and finally his marriage proposal, though Jack and Pa Miller are both dubious about him. Finding himself without money for their honeymoon, Nickey robs Miller's cigar counter and shoots him; but Jack's identification of Nickey leads to his arrest. Pa Miller recovers; and Sheba, chastened by her experience, agrees to marry Jack, who gets his raise. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Society


Subject

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.