Captain January (1924)

Melodrama | 6 July 1924

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HISTORY

On 24 Nov 1923, Motion Picture News announced Principal Pictures was set to adapt Laura Elizabeth Richards’ 1891 novel, Captain January, as the studio’s first vehicle for popular child star Peggy-Jean Montgomery, known to audiences as “Baby” Peggy. Company vice president Irving M. Lesser negotiated acquisition of film rights from publisher L. C. Page & Co., and production was scheduled to begin 21 Jan 1924.
       One month later, however, the 15 Dec 1923 Motion Picture News suggested that the start date had been moved up, and was now expected to commence early the following week. The item attributed scenario-writing duties to John Grey and director Edward F. Cline, with Eve Unsell serving as a consultant.
       A 5 Jan 1924 Motion Picture News news item stated that lighthouse exteriors were filmed on Light Island at Laguna Beach, CA, while additional sets were built along the shore. According to the 1 Jan—30 Jun 1924 issue of Photoplay magazine, several unfortunate incidents befell the cast and crew during production. Baby Peggy immediately became ill with a cold, which set filming behind one week; Hobart Bosworth was bed-ridden for several days after being hit by a violent wave; and director Cline broke three ribs when he tumbled over a cliff. Additionally, actor Lincoln Stedman broke his foot performing a hazardous jump after refusing to use a stunt double, and three crewmembers were robbed on the final night of filming. The 16 Feb 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that principal photography had concluded the previous week.
       The completed picture was previewed at the Criterion Theatre in Santa Monica, CA, as reported by ...

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On 24 Nov 1923, Motion Picture News announced Principal Pictures was set to adapt Laura Elizabeth Richards’ 1891 novel, Captain January, as the studio’s first vehicle for popular child star Peggy-Jean Montgomery, known to audiences as “Baby” Peggy. Company vice president Irving M. Lesser negotiated acquisition of film rights from publisher L. C. Page & Co., and production was scheduled to begin 21 Jan 1924.
       One month later, however, the 15 Dec 1923 Motion Picture News suggested that the start date had been moved up, and was now expected to commence early the following week. The item attributed scenario-writing duties to John Grey and director Edward F. Cline, with Eve Unsell serving as a consultant.
       A 5 Jan 1924 Motion Picture News news item stated that lighthouse exteriors were filmed on Light Island at Laguna Beach, CA, while additional sets were built along the shore. According to the 1 Jan—30 Jun 1924 issue of Photoplay magazine, several unfortunate incidents befell the cast and crew during production. Baby Peggy immediately became ill with a cold, which set filming behind one week; Hobart Bosworth was bed-ridden for several days after being hit by a violent wave; and director Cline broke three ribs when he tumbled over a cliff. Additionally, actor Lincoln Stedman broke his foot performing a hazardous jump after refusing to use a stunt double, and three crewmembers were robbed on the final night of filming. The 16 Feb 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that principal photography had concluded the previous week.
       The completed picture was previewed at the Criterion Theatre in Santa Monica, CA, as reported by the 3 May 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review. Items in the 19 and 26 Jul 1924 Moving Picture World reported that the world premiere took place 6 Jul 1924 at the Mark Strand Theatre in New York City, followed by simultaneous screenings on 14 Jul 1924 at the Grand Opera House in Pittsburgh, PA, and the Palace Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. The New York City event marked Baby Peggy’s first personal public appearance.
       In 1936, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation released another adaptation of Richards’ work, also titled Captain January (see entry), starring Shirley Temple.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
16 Feb 1924
p. 24
Exhibitors Trade Review
3 May 1924
p. 25
Film Daily
13 Jul 1924
---
Motion Picture News
24 Nov 1923
p. 2453
Motion Picture News
15 Dec 1923
p. 2776
Motion Picture News
5 Jan 1924
p. 51
Moving Picture World
19 Jan 1924
p. 205
Moving Picture World
26 Jul 1924
p. 258
New York Times
7 Jul 1924
p. 10
Photoplay
1 Jan--30 Jun 1924
p. 96
Variety
9 Jul 1924
p. 24
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Pres
WRITERS
Scen
Scen
Art titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Captain January by Laura Elizabeth Richards (Boston, 1891).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 July 1924
Premiere Information:
New York world premiere: 6 Jul 1924; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia premieres: 14 Jul 1924
Production Date:
late Dec 1923--early Feb 1924
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,194
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Jeremiah Judkins, a lighthouse keeper, finds a little girl washed ashore tied to a spar. The kindly old man adopts the child, and she assists him in his duties. Jeremiah falls asleep one night, and the light goes out. As a result of this neglect of duty, a yacht is beached near the lighthouse. One of its passengers, Isabelle Morton, then visits the lighthouse and identifies the little girl, known only as Captain January, as the child of a sister who was killed nearby in an accident at sea. Isabelle then takes the child with her, but the little girl is unhappy in her new home. At the first chance, Captain January returns to the lighthouse keeper, and the Mortons realize that the old man and the little girl are inseparable companions. The Mortons then make room for the old man in the child's new home, bringing happiness to all ...

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Jeremiah Judkins, a lighthouse keeper, finds a little girl washed ashore tied to a spar. The kindly old man adopts the child, and she assists him in his duties. Jeremiah falls asleep one night, and the light goes out. As a result of this neglect of duty, a yacht is beached near the lighthouse. One of its passengers, Isabelle Morton, then visits the lighthouse and identifies the little girl, known only as Captain January, as the child of a sister who was killed nearby in an accident at sea. Isabelle then takes the child with her, but the little girl is unhappy in her new home. At the first chance, Captain January returns to the lighthouse keeper, and the Mortons realize that the old man and the little girl are inseparable companions. The Mortons then make room for the old man in the child's new home, bringing happiness to all alike.

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GENRE
Genre:


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.