Don Juan (1926)

Romance | 6 August 1926

Director:

Alan Crosland

Writer:

Bess Meredyth

Cinematographer:

Byron Haskin

Editor:

Harold McCord

Production Designer:

Ben Carré
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HISTORY

The 29 Jul 1925 Var announced Don Juan as a forthcoming Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., feature, set to star John Barrymore. Production would begin upon completion of Barrymore’s The Sea Beast (1926, see entry). The famous poem, Don Juan, written by George Gordon and Lord Byron (c.1819--1824), inspired many film adaptations, including the 1907 and 1908 versions of the same name (see entries).
       The 16 Sep 1925 Var reported an expected start date of 1 Oct 1925. However, on 23 Sep 1925, FD stated that production on The Sea Beast would continue for another three weeks. The 7 Oct 1925 Var noted that Don Juan would begin filming around 15 Oct 1925 under Alan Crosland’s direction.
       According to the 28 Oct 1925 FD, production was underway at Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood, CA. Gertrude Astor was listed as a cast member.
       The 13 Jan 1926 FD announced that filming had finished the previous week. The 7 Feb 1926 FD reported that Walter Anthony was currently titling the picture.
       The 28 Jan 1926 FD indicated that Warner Bros. did not plan to release the picture until 1927. However, the 5 Apr 1926 issue noted that a fall 1926 release was expected.
       According to the 11 May 1926 FD and the 26 May 1926 Var, Don Juan was set to open at Warners’ Theatre in New York City on 15 Jul 1926. Tickets prices would top $1.65, and the film would play twice per day. A lavish premiere was ... More Less

The 29 Jul 1925 Var announced Don Juan as a forthcoming Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., feature, set to star John Barrymore. Production would begin upon completion of Barrymore’s The Sea Beast (1926, see entry). The famous poem, Don Juan, written by George Gordon and Lord Byron (c.1819--1824), inspired many film adaptations, including the 1907 and 1908 versions of the same name (see entries).
       The 16 Sep 1925 Var reported an expected start date of 1 Oct 1925. However, on 23 Sep 1925, FD stated that production on The Sea Beast would continue for another three weeks. The 7 Oct 1925 Var noted that Don Juan would begin filming around 15 Oct 1925 under Alan Crosland’s direction.
       According to the 28 Oct 1925 FD, production was underway at Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood, CA. Gertrude Astor was listed as a cast member.
       The 13 Jan 1926 FD announced that filming had finished the previous week. The 7 Feb 1926 FD reported that Walter Anthony was currently titling the picture.
       The 28 Jan 1926 FD indicated that Warner Bros. did not plan to release the picture until 1927. However, the 5 Apr 1926 issue noted that a fall 1926 release was expected.
       According to the 11 May 1926 FD and the 26 May 1926 Var, Don Juan was set to open at Warners’ Theatre in New York City on 15 Jul 1926. Tickets prices would top $1.65, and the film would play twice per day. A lavish premiere was planned for Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, for sometime in Jul 1926, as stated in the 2 Jun 1926 Var.
       Before the film opened, however, the 8 Jun 1926 FD reported that Alan Crosland had filmed a new ending to Don Juan. The 22 Jun 1926 issue noted that the musical score was currently being recorded at the Manhattan Opera House in NY, under Sam Warner’s supervision.
       The 23 Jun 1926 Var indicated that a “deluxe performance” of Don Juan would open at Warners’ for $25 per ticket. The “fancy” opening was set for mid-Jul 1926, the night before the picture would open to the general public, but the event does not appear to have occurred.
       An animated “color absorption” sign depicting a scene from Don Juan was erected above the Warners’ marquee, as reported in the 11 Jul 1926 FD. The new technology was invented by Richard M. Craig, and the 1,080 sq. ft. sign was manufactured by the Color Animation Corp.
       The 21 Jul 1926 Var announced Warner Bros.’ plans to synchronize the picture using its Vitaphone technology, which was anticipated to be ready in time for Don Juan’s “world premiere” at Warners’ Theatre on 5 Aug 1926.
       On 28 Jul 1926 Var, stated a screening was scheduled to be held on 4 Aug 1926 at Warners’ Theatre before the premiere the following night. The general opening occurred on 6 Aug 1926, and tickets sold for $10, according to the 11 Aug 1926 Var. The Vitaphone debut was reportedly “the talk of Broadway.” Ticket prices following the opening were listed between 75 cents and $3.30. The 18 Aug 1926 Var announced Warners’ box office receipts had totaled $29,000 the previous week.
       The 4 Aug 1926 issue reported that the Los Angeles premiere would be held on 20 Aug 1926 at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre.
       The 11 Aug 1926 Var review deemed Don Juan “a walloping romantic story of pure box office strength,” and noted the fine performances given by John Barrymore, Estelle Taylor, Mary Astor, and Montagu Love. The picture was declared “one of the best…the screen has seen.” The 15 Aug 1926 FD review also praised the film’s “excellent direction and fine acting.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
23 Sep 1925
p. 10.
Film Daily
28 Oct 1925
p. 4.
Film Daily
13 Jan 1926
p. 2.
Film Daily
28 Jan 1926
p. 1.
Film Daily
7 Feb 1926
p. 11.
Film Daily
5 Apr 1926
p. 2.
Film Daily
11 May 1926
p. 2.
Film Daily
8 Jun 1926
p. 8.
Film Daily
22 Jun 1926
p. 2.
Film Daily
11 Jul 1926
p. 9.
Film Daily
15 Aug 1926
p. 6.
Film Daily
3 Jan 1927
p. 3.
Life
26 Aug 1926
p. 26.
New York Times
7 Aug 1926
p. 6.
Photoplay
Oct 1926
p. 52.
Variety
29 Jul 1925
p. 27.
Variety
16 Sep 1925
p. 29.
Variety
7 Oct 1925
p. 42.
Variety
26 May 1926
p. 10.
Variety
2 Jun 1926
p. 1.
Variety
23 Jun 1926
p. 1.
Variety
21 Jul 1926
p. 4.
Variety
28 Jul 1926
p. 12, 54.
Variety
4 Aug 1926
p. 46.
Variety
11 Aug 1926
p. 5, 11.
Variety
18 Aug 1926
p. 45.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
WRITERS
Titles
Art titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Original music
Music arr by
Music arr by
Music arr by
SOUND
DANCE
Bacchanalian art dancing
PRODUCTION MISC
Props
Elec eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Inspired by the poem Don Juan by George Gordon, Lord Byron (London, 1819--1824).
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 August 1926
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 5 August 1926
Los Angeles premiere: 20 August 1926
Production Date:
late-October 1925--early-January 1926
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 June 1926
Copyright Number:
LP22815
Physical Properties:
Silent
Sd eff & mus score by Vitaphone
Black and White
Length(in feet):
10,018
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In the prologue, Don José, warned of his wife's infidelity, seals his wife's lover alive in his hiding place and drives her from the castle; abandoned to his lust, he is stabbed by his last mistress, and with his dying words he implores his son, Juan, to take all from women but yield nothing. Ten years later, young Don Juan is famous as a lover and pursued by many women, including the powerful Lucretia Borgia, who invites him to her ball; his contempt for her incites her hatred of Adriana, the daughter of the Duke Della Varnese, with whom he is enraptured; and Lucretia plots to marry her to Donati and poison the duke. Don Juan intervenes and thwarts the scheme, winning the love of Adriana, but the Borgia declare war on the duke's kinsmen, offering them safety if Adriana marries Donati; Don Juan is summoned to the wedding, but he prefers death to marriage with Lucretia. He escapes and kills Donati in a duel; the lovers are led to the death-tower, but while Adriana pretends suicide, he escapes; and following a series of battles, he defeats his pursuers and is united with ... +


In the prologue, Don José, warned of his wife's infidelity, seals his wife's lover alive in his hiding place and drives her from the castle; abandoned to his lust, he is stabbed by his last mistress, and with his dying words he implores his son, Juan, to take all from women but yield nothing. Ten years later, young Don Juan is famous as a lover and pursued by many women, including the powerful Lucretia Borgia, who invites him to her ball; his contempt for her incites her hatred of Adriana, the daughter of the Duke Della Varnese, with whom he is enraptured; and Lucretia plots to marry her to Donati and poison the duke. Don Juan intervenes and thwarts the scheme, winning the love of Adriana, but the Borgia declare war on the duke's kinsmen, offering them safety if Adriana marries Donati; Don Juan is summoned to the wedding, but he prefers death to marriage with Lucretia. He escapes and kills Donati in a duel; the lovers are led to the death-tower, but while Adriana pretends suicide, he escapes; and following a series of battles, he defeats his pursuers and is united with Adriana. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Historical


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.