The Secret Call (1931)

73 mins | Melodrama | 25 July 1931

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HISTORY

Stage star Peggy Shannon was one of ten young actresses chosen by Paramount in 1931 for an opportunity in motion pictures. According to the NYT, five days after her arrival in Hollywood, Shannon took over the role from Clara Bow, who had a nervous collapse while rehearsing for the film, in the starring role. The play was previously filmed by Paramount in 1915 as The Woman, directed by George Melford and starring Theodore Roberts and Lois Meredith (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.5058) and in 1927 as The Telephone Girl, directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Madge Bellamy and Holbrook Blinn (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.5546). ...

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Stage star Peggy Shannon was one of ten young actresses chosen by Paramount in 1931 for an opportunity in motion pictures. According to the NYT, five days after her arrival in Hollywood, Shannon took over the role from Clara Bow, who had a nervous collapse while rehearsing for the film, in the starring role. The play was previously filmed by Paramount in 1915 as The Woman, directed by George Melford and starring Theodore Roberts and Lois Meredith (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.5058) and in 1927 as The Telephone Girl, directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Madge Bellamy and Holbrook Blinn (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.5546).

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
7 May 1931
p. 2
Film Daily
12-Jul-31
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 1931
p. 3
International Photographer
1 Aug 1931
p. 29
New York Times
13-Jul-31
---
New York Times
22-Nov-32
---
Variety
14 Jul 1931
p. 17
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 July 1931
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Paramount Publix Corp.
24 July 1931
LP2360
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

City Commissioner Frank Kelly commits suicide after political boss Jim Blake frames him in Blake's own grafting racket. Kelly's daughter Wanda, who is in love with Blake's son Tom, vows revenge against Blake when he insists innocent men do not commit suicide. A year later, Wanda is head telephone operator at the Hotel Keswick, where Blake conducts business. Meanwhile, The Bulletin has been printing stories implicating Blake in Kelly's demise. In order to divert attention from himself, Blake creates a scandal involving Senator Matt Stanton, who is spearheading the investigation of him. At the hotel, Blake blackmails Stanton into dropping his reform bill by threatening to expose Stanton's past love affair in the next morning's newspaper. Meanwhile, Bulletin reporter Bert Benedict offers to pay Wanda to listen in on Blake's calls. Unaware of the name of Stanton's former liaison, Blake sends henchman Jim Neligan to pay the hotel operator for the phone number of Stanton's next call, assuming he will be calling the woman to warn her. When Tom's brother-in-law, Senator Phil Roberts, who is in league with Blake, calls the same number, Wanda realizes Blake's own daughter Grace is the woman, and refuses to report to either Benedict or Neligan. Blake, meanwhile, pays Stanton's ex-secretary, Vera Lorraine, to give him the name, and she promises to deliver it the next morning. That night, Tom and Wanda spend a romantic evening together after a year's separation, and she tells him his father has come between them. The next morning, Grace arrives at the hotel and Wanda warns her to stop her father's involvement in the Stanton ...

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City Commissioner Frank Kelly commits suicide after political boss Jim Blake frames him in Blake's own grafting racket. Kelly's daughter Wanda, who is in love with Blake's son Tom, vows revenge against Blake when he insists innocent men do not commit suicide. A year later, Wanda is head telephone operator at the Hotel Keswick, where Blake conducts business. Meanwhile, The Bulletin has been printing stories implicating Blake in Kelly's demise. In order to divert attention from himself, Blake creates a scandal involving Senator Matt Stanton, who is spearheading the investigation of him. At the hotel, Blake blackmails Stanton into dropping his reform bill by threatening to expose Stanton's past love affair in the next morning's newspaper. Meanwhile, Bulletin reporter Bert Benedict offers to pay Wanda to listen in on Blake's calls. Unaware of the name of Stanton's former liaison, Blake sends henchman Jim Neligan to pay the hotel operator for the phone number of Stanton's next call, assuming he will be calling the woman to warn her. When Tom's brother-in-law, Senator Phil Roberts, who is in league with Blake, calls the same number, Wanda realizes Blake's own daughter Grace is the woman, and refuses to report to either Benedict or Neligan. Blake, meanwhile, pays Stanton's ex-secretary, Vera Lorraine, to give him the name, and she promises to deliver it the next morning. That night, Tom and Wanda spend a romantic evening together after a year's separation, and she tells him his father has come between them. The next morning, Grace arrives at the hotel and Wanda warns her to stop her father's involvement in the Stanton scandal. When Vera telephones, Wanda intercepts the call. As the press waits, Grace runs to Tom for help and Wanda is ordered to report to Blake. When Blake realizes Kelly's daughter is the woman he tried to bribe, he threatens to put her in prison for intercepting Vera's call. Wanda resists naming Grace until Blake cruelly reminds Wanda of her father's fate. As Tom and Grace arrive, Wanda blurts out Grace's phone number and Blake, mortified, says he is through with politics. Wanda then gives Benedict a tip that she will marry Tom.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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