David Harum (1934)

80 or 82-83 mins | Comedy | 2 March 1934

Director:

James Cruze

Writer:

Walter Woods

Cinematographer:

Hal Mohr

Editor:

Jack Murray

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

Although a play by M. W. Hitchcock based on the novel opened in Rochester, NY on 9 Apr 1900, according to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, the writers of this film did not use the Hitchcock play in creating the screenplay. According to a HR news item, Kent Taylor was loaned from Paramount. According to information in the legal records, the race sequences were shot at the Riverside Race Track in Riverside, CA. Although the character played by Stepin Fetchit is listed in the screen credits as "Sylvester," he is called "Swifty" in the dialogue. This film was re-issued by Twentieth Century-Fox on 14 Mar 1937. Modern sources note that Inglewood, CA was also used for location shooting. Modern sources also note that the film was eighth on the Honor Roll of Best Pictures for 1934, that photographer Hal Mohn and actress Evelyn Venable met on the set of this film and married a year later, and that B. McEveety was the unit manager. David Harum was also presented as a play by Ripley and M. W. Hitchcock, which opened in New York on 1 Oct 1900 and starred William H. Crane. According to the legal records, no part of the dramatization was used in this film. In 1915, Crane starred in a film based on the novel, which was produced by Famous Players Film Co. (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, ... More Less

Although a play by M. W. Hitchcock based on the novel opened in Rochester, NY on 9 Apr 1900, according to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, the writers of this film did not use the Hitchcock play in creating the screenplay. According to a HR news item, Kent Taylor was loaned from Paramount. According to information in the legal records, the race sequences were shot at the Riverside Race Track in Riverside, CA. Although the character played by Stepin Fetchit is listed in the screen credits as "Sylvester," he is called "Swifty" in the dialogue. This film was re-issued by Twentieth Century-Fox on 14 Mar 1937. Modern sources note that Inglewood, CA was also used for location shooting. Modern sources also note that the film was eighth on the Honor Roll of Best Pictures for 1934, that photographer Hal Mohn and actress Evelyn Venable met on the set of this film and married a year later, and that B. McEveety was the unit manager. David Harum was also presented as a play by Ripley and M. W. Hitchcock, which opened in New York on 1 Oct 1900 and starred William H. Crane. According to the legal records, no part of the dramatization was used in this film. In 1915, Crane starred in a film based on the novel, which was produced by Famous Players Film Co. (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, F1.0952). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Mar 1934.
---
Daily Variety
21 Dec 33
p. 2.
Film Daily
2 Mar 34
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
10 Mar 34
p. 39.
HF
23 Dec 33
p. 43.
HF
20 Jan 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 33
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
27 Feb 34
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Mar 34
p. 35.
New York Times
2 Mar 34
p. 23.
Variety
6 Mar 1934.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel David Harum by Edward Noyes Westcott (New York, 1898).
SONGS
"Bringing in the Sheaves," words and music by George A. Minor
"Ta Ra Ra Boom Dere," words and music by Henry J. Sayers
"Down Went McGinty," words and music by Joseph Flynn.
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 March 1934
Production Date:
21 December 1933--late January 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 February 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4513
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80 or 82-83
Length(in feet):
7,605
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
19
SYNOPSIS

In 1893, David Harum, small town banker and sometime wily horse trader, visits New York City and discusses the current panic with General Woolsey, who sells him a horse named Abdul before letting on that the horse is "balky." Back in Homeville, David, despite his sister Polly's remonstrations, trades the horse, whom he has renamed Amos, to Deacon Perkins, who earlier traded David a blind horse. During a rainstorm, the horse, who is now named Moses, balks in front of David's house, and David gets a good deal of amusement from the deacon's unsuccessful efforts to move him. During the rain, John Lennox arrives from New York to work for David on the recommendation of General Woolsey. John, whose father died when he lost his money during the panic and whose fiancée broke their engagement because of the financial loss, helps David when an angry forger starts a fight. Ann Madison, whose parents are wealthy and who is visiting town with her stuffy suitor Caruthers Elwin, protects John from being hit by an iron sinker, a heavy ring to which horses are hitched. She then bets David that John will ask her to marry him and convinces David to help. David buys the balky horse back and sends John and Ann home in its carriage after church. When the horse balks, John and Ann get a chance to talk despite John's initial irritation. Encouraged, Ann buys the horse, whom she renames Cupid, but when John fails to appreciate the sentimental significance of the purchase, she returns to New York. On the day before Christmas, John decides to leave when he thinks ... +


In 1893, David Harum, small town banker and sometime wily horse trader, visits New York City and discusses the current panic with General Woolsey, who sells him a horse named Abdul before letting on that the horse is "balky." Back in Homeville, David, despite his sister Polly's remonstrations, trades the horse, whom he has renamed Amos, to Deacon Perkins, who earlier traded David a blind horse. During a rainstorm, the horse, who is now named Moses, balks in front of David's house, and David gets a good deal of amusement from the deacon's unsuccessful efforts to move him. During the rain, John Lennox arrives from New York to work for David on the recommendation of General Woolsey. John, whose father died when he lost his money during the panic and whose fiancée broke their engagement because of the financial loss, helps David when an angry forger starts a fight. Ann Madison, whose parents are wealthy and who is visiting town with her stuffy suitor Caruthers Elwin, protects John from being hit by an iron sinker, a heavy ring to which horses are hitched. She then bets David that John will ask her to marry him and convinces David to help. David buys the balky horse back and sends John and Ann home in its carriage after church. When the horse balks, John and Ann get a chance to talk despite John's initial irritation. Encouraged, Ann buys the horse, whom she renames Cupid, but when John fails to appreciate the sentimental significance of the purchase, she returns to New York. On the day before Christmas, John decides to leave when he thinks that David is going to take valuable property from a widow after David threatens to charge the deacon, who had been about to foreclose on the property, with usury. However, on Christmas Day, John overhears David tell the widow untruthfully that an old account of her husband's has been found which will allow her to buy back the mortgages. John apologizes to David, and he is overjoyed to find Ann at Christmas dinner, but they argue when he says he will not marry unless he can support a wife even though she is independently wealthy. Ann then returns to the city. In the spring, Ann, who has returned, learns that Cupid stops balking when she sings "Down Went McGinty" and runs swiftly to the tune of "Ta Ra Ra Boom Dere." She enters him into the Danchester Sweepstakes Harness Races, at which the favorite, Silver Spoon, is driven by Deacon Perkins. David, who is to drive Cupid, convinces John to bet his savings of $4,500 at ten-to-one odds on Cupid. During the final heat, when David's off-key singing fails to motivate Cupid, Ann gets the band to play and the fans to sing "Ta Ra Ra Boom Dere." Cupid wins, David and John become partners, and John proposes, after Ann asks him to. During a parade, Cupid bolts with David driving as the crowd sings "Ta Ra Ra Boom Dere." +

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.