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HISTORY

The Summary for this partially viewed film is based on contemporary sources, including reviews in the 6 May 1922 editions of the Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, and in the 17 Jun 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review, supplemented by a 2006 viewing of an incomplete print that was preserved by AFI. Production credits were missing from the print viewed, as was the ending and some additional segments of the film. The viewed print contained a fantasy sequence in which Mabel Normand, as “Tina Bambinetti,” imagines herself as a movie “vamp,” dressed and acting like popular actress Theda Bara.
       Modern sources add Laura La Varnie to the cast as “Mme. Rennée.”
       The film was adapted from Edgar Allan Woolf’s play, based on Nalbro Bartley’s story. Mitzi Hajos starred in the 1918 Broadway stage version.
       The 19 Jun 1920 Camera announced that Mabel Normand had just returned from vacation and was set to begin filming Head Over Heels. A month and a half later, according to the 7 Aug 1920 Motion Picture News, she was “now engaged” in making the film at Culver City Studios. The 27 Aug 1920 FD reported that Normand had “just finished” the picture. However, the film’s release was delayed until May 1922. The 6 May 1922 Moving Picture World review hinted at what might have been the problem with the “only fairly entertaining” film. “It is thickly padded, yet must have been worse before someone’s scissors reached it, as considerable discrepancy exists between the posters and the picture as shown.” There was also a considerable number of subtitles, often ...

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The Summary for this partially viewed film is based on contemporary sources, including reviews in the 6 May 1922 editions of the Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, and in the 17 Jun 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review, supplemented by a 2006 viewing of an incomplete print that was preserved by AFI. Production credits were missing from the print viewed, as was the ending and some additional segments of the film. The viewed print contained a fantasy sequence in which Mabel Normand, as “Tina Bambinetti,” imagines herself as a movie “vamp,” dressed and acting like popular actress Theda Bara.
       Modern sources add Laura La Varnie to the cast as “Mme. Rennée.”
       The film was adapted from Edgar Allan Woolf’s play, based on Nalbro Bartley’s story. Mitzi Hajos starred in the 1918 Broadway stage version.
       The 19 Jun 1920 Camera announced that Mabel Normand had just returned from vacation and was set to begin filming Head Over Heels. A month and a half later, according to the 7 Aug 1920 Motion Picture News, she was “now engaged” in making the film at Culver City Studios. The 27 Aug 1920 FD reported that Normand had “just finished” the picture. However, the film’s release was delayed until May 1922. The 6 May 1922 Moving Picture World review hinted at what might have been the problem with the “only fairly entertaining” film. “It is thickly padded, yet must have been worse before someone’s scissors reached it, as considerable discrepancy exists between the posters and the picture as shown.” There was also a considerable number of subtitles, often used to patch stories together. Like other reviewers, the critic felt Mabel Normand was the best part of the picture. Head Over Heels was her final film released by Goldwyn Pictures Corp.
       Goldwyn’s official release date was 6 May 1922, as listed in the 13 May 1922 Moving Picture World. The 29 May 1922 FD reported that it was set to play for one night at the Loew’s New York Theatre on Broadway, on 31 May 1922.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Camera
19 Jun 1920
p. 6
Exhibitors Herald
6 Nov 1920
p. 102
Exhibitors Herald
6 May 1922
p. 60
Exhibitors Herald
26 Aug 1922
p. 82
Exhibitors Trade Review
17 Jun 1922
p. 189
Film Daily
27 Aug 1920
p. 3
Film Daily
8 May 1921
p. 23
Film Daily
29 May 1922
p. 4
Motion Picture News
7 Aug 1920
p. 1128
Motion Picture News Booking Guide
Oct 1922
p. 31
Moving Picture World
6 May 1922
p. 89
Moving Picture World
13 May 1922
p. 202
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 May 1922
Production Date:
Jul - Aug 1920
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Goldwyn Pictures Corp.
20 April 1922
LP17763
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
4,229
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

When theatrical agent Sterling, a ladies man known for signing his latest paramours onto his agency's talent roster, returns to New York from a trip to Europe, he tells his more down-to-earth partner, Lawson, that he has hired a beautiful Neopolitan acrobat he saw onstage in Italy. However, when the acrobat, Tina Bambinetti, arrives in their office, Sterling is shocked to find that, in person, she is plain, unkempt and badly dressed. Crushed by Sterling's dismissive treatment, Tina climbs back into the office through the transom and performs acrobatics that almost destroy the place, and her spunk impresses Lawson. Later, Papa Bambinetti is convinced by scheming press agent Pepper that Tina would have a promising career in motion pictures if she just visited a "beauty hospital." Despite Tina's fears that the imposing beauticians will hurt her, she undergoes a complete transformation and emerges, to everyone's surprise, as a beautiful, well-dressed young woman. Lawson falls in love, but Tina is enjoying her new life and cannot decide between him and her career. One night, when Tina sees Lawson with another woman at the roof garden of her hotel, she angrily confronts them, then packs her bags to return to Italy. Lawson stops her before she boards her ship by explaining that the woman was merely another ...

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When theatrical agent Sterling, a ladies man known for signing his latest paramours onto his agency's talent roster, returns to New York from a trip to Europe, he tells his more down-to-earth partner, Lawson, that he has hired a beautiful Neopolitan acrobat he saw onstage in Italy. However, when the acrobat, Tina Bambinetti, arrives in their office, Sterling is shocked to find that, in person, she is plain, unkempt and badly dressed. Crushed by Sterling's dismissive treatment, Tina climbs back into the office through the transom and performs acrobatics that almost destroy the place, and her spunk impresses Lawson. Later, Papa Bambinetti is convinced by scheming press agent Pepper that Tina would have a promising career in motion pictures if she just visited a "beauty hospital." Despite Tina's fears that the imposing beauticians will hurt her, she undergoes a complete transformation and emerges, to everyone's surprise, as a beautiful, well-dressed young woman. Lawson falls in love, but Tina is enjoying her new life and cannot decide between him and her career. One night, when Tina sees Lawson with another woman at the roof garden of her hotel, she angrily confronts them, then packs her bags to return to Italy. Lawson stops her before she boards her ship by explaining that the woman was merely another client.

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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.