Spring Tonic (1935)

55 or 58 mins | Screwball comedy | 19 April 1935

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HISTORY

Alternate titles for this film were Man-Eating Tiger and Hold That Tiger . Rose Caylor and Ben Hecht were married. According to DV news items, Melville Brown joined Fox to direct the film, but he asked for his release during the first week of shooting because he was dissatisfied with the treatment of the story and believed that some of the principal roles were miscast. Clyde Bruckman was borrowed from Columbia to replace Brown. Also, according to DV , Harold Schuster, formerly an editor, got his first directing assignment on this film doing additional scenes. According to the final shooting script in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Theresa Maxwell Conover was scheduled to play the role of "Mrs. Ingals." Minnie, who played "Mina," the tiger, was borrowed from the Los Angeles Zoological Gardens, according to a HR news item. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also at UCLA, T. L. Sappington, who wrote a story also entitled "Spring Tonic," which was published in Everybody's Magazine (Jun 1923), granted the studio the right to use the ... More Less

Alternate titles for this film were Man-Eating Tiger and Hold That Tiger . Rose Caylor and Ben Hecht were married. According to DV news items, Melville Brown joined Fox to direct the film, but he asked for his release during the first week of shooting because he was dissatisfied with the treatment of the story and believed that some of the principal roles were miscast. Clyde Bruckman was borrowed from Columbia to replace Brown. Also, according to DV , Harold Schuster, formerly an editor, got his first directing assignment on this film doing additional scenes. According to the final shooting script in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Theresa Maxwell Conover was scheduled to play the role of "Mrs. Ingals." Minnie, who played "Mina," the tiger, was borrowed from the Los Angeles Zoological Gardens, according to a HR news item. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also at UCLA, T. L. Sappington, who wrote a story also entitled "Spring Tonic," which was published in Everybody's Magazine (Jun 1923), granted the studio the right to use the title. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27-Jul-35
---
Daily Variety
20 Dec 34
p. 8.
Daily Variety
19 Jan 35
p. 4.
Daily Variety
31 Jan 35
p. 2.
Daily Variety
5 Feb 35
p. 5.
Daily Variety
23 Mar 35
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 Apr 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Jun 35
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 35
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 35
p. 14.
Motion Picture Daily
6 Apr 35
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
6 Jul 35
p. 76.
Variety
12 Jun 35
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dir of added scenes
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Comedy seq
Contr on spec seq
Contr on spec seq
Addl orig dial
Contr to scr const
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Man-Eating Tiger by Ben Hecht and Rose Caylor (Allentown, PA, 16 Sep 1927).
SONGS
"Tonight There's a Spell on the Moon," music and lyrics by Jay Gorney.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hold That Tiger
Man-Eating Tiger
Release Date:
19 April 1935
Production Date:
31 January-2 March 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
19 April 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5508
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
55 or 58
Length(in feet):
5,200
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
737
SYNOPSIS

On the night before her wedding, Betty Ingals walks out of the rehearsal angry at her milquetoast fiancé, Caleb Enix, because of his insistence on reasonableness and his lack of ardor. When he refuses to elope, Betty, with her clumsy, easily frightened maid Maggie in tow, sneaks into her car. Sykes, a snooping reporter, climbs onto their rumble seat as Betty heads upstate heedless of Maggie's warning that that part of the country is full of crazy people. As they near the Summit Lodge, Sykes is knocked into the bushes. Nearby, at the Melleh Bros. Wild Animal Circus, tiger trainer Lola rebukes her philandering husband Jose, who then opens the cage of Lola's tiger Mina so that Lola will be preoccupied while he pursues recreation. While searching for Mina, Lola comes across Giffen and Camebridge Nasher, two loony moonshiners, and promises to hire them as acrobats if they help find the tiger. Betty pays Matt, a partner of the Nashers in applejack production, ten dollars to stay in the lodge. When Jose serenades her under her window, Betty is excited to hear that he just wants to make love, rather than reason with her, like Caleb. After Maggie calls Caleb to tell him their location, Sykes arrives at the lodge. Betty denies her identity to him, but when Caleb arrives, Sykes takes notes as Betty explains that she is bored with him and cannot go through with the wedding. As Betty walks off arm in arm with Jose, Caleb, seeing Sykes about to phone in the story about their breakup, wraps the phone line around his neck. With Matt's help, Caleb drops Sykes ... +


On the night before her wedding, Betty Ingals walks out of the rehearsal angry at her milquetoast fiancé, Caleb Enix, because of his insistence on reasonableness and his lack of ardor. When he refuses to elope, Betty, with her clumsy, easily frightened maid Maggie in tow, sneaks into her car. Sykes, a snooping reporter, climbs onto their rumble seat as Betty heads upstate heedless of Maggie's warning that that part of the country is full of crazy people. As they near the Summit Lodge, Sykes is knocked into the bushes. Nearby, at the Melleh Bros. Wild Animal Circus, tiger trainer Lola rebukes her philandering husband Jose, who then opens the cage of Lola's tiger Mina so that Lola will be preoccupied while he pursues recreation. While searching for Mina, Lola comes across Giffen and Camebridge Nasher, two loony moonshiners, and promises to hire them as acrobats if they help find the tiger. Betty pays Matt, a partner of the Nashers in applejack production, ten dollars to stay in the lodge. When Jose serenades her under her window, Betty is excited to hear that he just wants to make love, rather than reason with her, like Caleb. After Maggie calls Caleb to tell him their location, Sykes arrives at the lodge. Betty denies her identity to him, but when Caleb arrives, Sykes takes notes as Betty explains that she is bored with him and cannot go through with the wedding. As Betty walks off arm in arm with Jose, Caleb, seeing Sykes about to phone in the story about their breakup, wraps the phone line around his neck. With Matt's help, Caleb drops Sykes into a cellar. When Lola arrives with her whip, Jose sneaks out. After Caleb receives advice from Matt that women prefer force to reason, he enters Betty's room, where Jose has returned. When Caleb asks if he intends to marry Betty, Jose leaves by the window, and after Betty closes the door on Caleb, she climbs out to Jose. To help Caleb, Matt kidnaps Maggie, thinking her to be Betty, and they drive off, but return when they discover that they really have Maggie. When Lola catches Jose embracing Betty, he tells Betty to wait in the loft of the barn and then runs from Lola. Caleb captures Jose for Lola, while Maggie falls into the cellar with Sykes. After Caleb ties up Jose, he instructs Caleb in courtship technique, explaining that he is in love with love, and tells him that Betty is waiting in the barn. As Caleb confronts Betty, the tiger comes into the barn. Although Caleb's first reaction is to run, he then grabs a whip and makes the tiger lie down and roll over. After the Nashers see this and tell Lola, she reclaims the tiger, whom she says she had tamed by never letting her forget that she is the master. With his whip, Caleb orders Betty down from the loft and kisses her passionately. Never having experienced such a kiss from him, Betty wants more. Lola returns to the circus with both the tiger and Jose encaged, as Caleb and Betty leave Maggie with Sykes. +

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.