Now I'll Tell (1934)

75 or 87 mins | Drama, Biography | 11 May 1934

Full page view
HISTORY

As the print viewed was a re-release print, the onscreen credits were taken from a screen credit billing sheet in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. The main character in this film is based on the gambler Arnold Rothstein (1882--1928), who, according to modern sources, acted as a go-between for businessmen and criminals in their dealings with New York politicians and police. Rothstein was reported to have devised the Black Sox scandal during the 1919 World Series. He was shot during a poker game and died two days later, 6 Nov 1928, without revealing his killer. Var noted that at the time of the film's release, Rothstein's murder was still unsolved and commented that the character "Murray Golden," "resembles the noted Broadway gambling man in his moods and methods, many of which will be recognized by those who knew or studied him." NYT called Spencer Tracy's portrayal "as thorough a characterization as has been seen on the screen."
       According to information in the legal files, on 11 Jul 1933, Fox took out an option on a story to be written by Mrs. Carolyn Behar, formerly Mrs. Arnold Rothstein, which would "exploit and describe the activities, incidents and events in the life of Arnold Rothstein." A separate agreement gave Fox the right to furnish a ghostwriter to work with Behar if the work was not completed by 1 Oct 1933. The book, which was also entitled Now I'll Tell and published by the Vanguard Press on 3 May 1934, was written by Behar under the name Mrs. Arnold Rothstein, in collaboration with ... More Less

As the print viewed was a re-release print, the onscreen credits were taken from a screen credit billing sheet in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. The main character in this film is based on the gambler Arnold Rothstein (1882--1928), who, according to modern sources, acted as a go-between for businessmen and criminals in their dealings with New York politicians and police. Rothstein was reported to have devised the Black Sox scandal during the 1919 World Series. He was shot during a poker game and died two days later, 6 Nov 1928, without revealing his killer. Var noted that at the time of the film's release, Rothstein's murder was still unsolved and commented that the character "Murray Golden," "resembles the noted Broadway gambling man in his moods and methods, many of which will be recognized by those who knew or studied him." NYT called Spencer Tracy's portrayal "as thorough a characterization as has been seen on the screen."
       According to information in the legal files, on 11 Jul 1933, Fox took out an option on a story to be written by Mrs. Carolyn Behar, formerly Mrs. Arnold Rothstein, which would "exploit and describe the activities, incidents and events in the life of Arnold Rothstein." A separate agreement gave Fox the right to furnish a ghostwriter to work with Behar if the work was not completed by 1 Oct 1933. The book, which was also entitled Now I'll Tell and published by the Vanguard Press on 3 May 1934, was written by Behar under the name Mrs. Arnold Rothstein, in collaboration with Donald Henderson Clarke. Fox obtained all rights to the book, except publication rights. Behar read the shooting script by Edwin Burke, which was finished before her book was completed, and signed a statement that read, "Some of the incidents included in the continuity are not based on real facts or incidents in the life of the late Arnold Rothstein and as to these incidents, I do not make any representations to the public or otherwise that they are true, but if these incidents are used in the picture, I will have no objection to their use, provided, I am not called upon to state to the public that they are actual happenings."
       In an affidavit relating to a plagiarism claim concerning the ending of the film, Burke stated that the ending he wrote was developed from a suggestion made by Rothstein's black secretary, Thomas Farley. Fox had authorized Burke to travel to New York to interview Farley and some underworld characters, and Farley related an incident in which he found Rothstein fooling with a revolver in his office. Farley told him, "If I were you, Mr. Rothstein, I would not use that revolver," and Rothstein replied, "If I had any guts, I would use it." They left the office together and took a taxi, and when, at an intersection, Rothstein left the taxi, he was almost struck by a couple of cars. Burke stated in the affidavit that the film's ending was derived from that incident.
       This was the only complete film that Burke, a Fox contract writer, directed; the previous year, he had co-directed retakes on Hello Sister! (see above). According to the legal records, Fox hired a camera crew consisting of Sol Halprin and Larry Williams to take various shots of New York and the vicinity for this film and One More Spring (see below). Fox also received permission to take certain shots and stills of the interior of "Lindy's Restaurant" to be used in the film. Allen Jenkins was to be loaned by Warner Bros. for a role, but the agreement was not executed. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16-Jun-34
---
Daily Variety
4 Apr 34
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Apr 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 May 34
p. 3.
HF
31 Mar 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16-Dec-33
---
International Photographer
1 Aug 34
p. 17.
Motion Picture Daily
17 Apr 34
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Apr 34
p. 34.
New York Times
26 May 34
p. 12.
Variety
29 May 34
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Claire Du Brey
Leon Waycoff
Patrick J. Moriarity
Allan Fox
Alden Chase
Tommy Dugan
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Screenplay written and directed by
Asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
2d cam
Cam crew--New York background shots
Cam crew--New York background shots
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
SONGS
"Fooling with the Other Woman's Man," words and music by Lew Brown and Harry Akst.
COMPOSERS
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 May 1934
Production Date:
26 February--4 April 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 May 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4667
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75 or 87
Length(in feet):
7,889
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In 1909, at the Saratoga racetrack, gambler Murray Golden convinces the man at the betting window to trust him for a $200 bet on the strength of a telegram sent to him purportedly by multi-millionaire Harry Payne Whitney, which gives a tip on a horse. Murray, in fact, earlier composed the wire himself. Although the horse does not win, Murray invites the party he is with to join him in a celebration. One of the women in the party, Virginia, decides to marry Murray, although she has no idea how he makes his money. Murray has ambitions of hobnobbing with the leaders of society, and he lives by the creed that one should do anything one can get away with. In 1914, on their fifth anniversary, Murray, who now runs a successful gambling house in New York, promises Virginia, who is bored and lonesome, that he will quit the business as soon as he has made $500,000. That night, Murray meets cabaret singer Peggy Warren, the girl friend of Al Mositer, a gangster whom he orders to leave, and at her instigation, they begin an affair. Although the evening's winnings put Murray's income over $500,000, he tells Virginia that he wants to continue until he makes "real" money so that he can do other things. By 1919, Murray has given Peggy a $100,000 trust fund and a Park Avenue apartment, but he remains in love with Virginia. Upon learning that Mositer has fixed a championship fight by paying one of the fighters, Eddie Traylor, to take a dive, Murray pays the other fighter, George Curtis, to go down in an earlier ... +


In 1909, at the Saratoga racetrack, gambler Murray Golden convinces the man at the betting window to trust him for a $200 bet on the strength of a telegram sent to him purportedly by multi-millionaire Harry Payne Whitney, which gives a tip on a horse. Murray, in fact, earlier composed the wire himself. Although the horse does not win, Murray invites the party he is with to join him in a celebration. One of the women in the party, Virginia, decides to marry Murray, although she has no idea how he makes his money. Murray has ambitions of hobnobbing with the leaders of society, and he lives by the creed that one should do anything one can get away with. In 1914, on their fifth anniversary, Murray, who now runs a successful gambling house in New York, promises Virginia, who is bored and lonesome, that he will quit the business as soon as he has made $500,000. That night, Murray meets cabaret singer Peggy Warren, the girl friend of Al Mositer, a gangster whom he orders to leave, and at her instigation, they begin an affair. Although the evening's winnings put Murray's income over $500,000, he tells Virginia that he wants to continue until he makes "real" money so that he can do other things. By 1919, Murray has given Peggy a $100,000 trust fund and a Park Avenue apartment, but he remains in love with Virginia. Upon learning that Mositer has fixed a championship fight by paying one of the fighters, Eddie Traylor, to take a dive, Murray pays the other fighter, George Curtis, to go down in an earlier round and then places a bet with Mositer. After the fight goes the way Murray planned, Virginia, who has attended with a friend, overhears talk that Peggy has been Murray's girl friend for years. She starts to pack, but Murray convinces her that his cohort Freddie is the man involved with Peggy. Murray then promises to quit gambling and go into the insurance business. During their discussion, Murray gets a call telling him that Traylor has been found murdered. Five years later, Curtis, who was broken up by Traylor's death, is an alcoholic. After Mositer tricks him into admitting that Murray convinced him to take a dive, Mositer vows revenge. As Murray, now ostensibly in the insurance business, visits his boyhood friend, Tommy Doran, who is now a police detective, to try to bribe him for a client, he gets a call from Freddie telling him that Virginia has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom by Mositer. Murray orders Freddie to pay anything and hurries back to town in a cab with Peggy. He urges the driver to speed, and the cab crashes into a truck killing Peggy. Virginia, who is released unharmed, tells Murray that she will seek a divorce in Paris to regain her self-respect. In 1928, Murray, nearly broke, loses $50,000 to Mositer in a card game. When he gets a telegram that Virginia is returning from Europe, he thinks she is coming back to him. Feeling that his luck is changing, he pawns her jewelry, which he has kept in the safe-deposit box, to gamble in a crap game. Virginia tells him that she is marrying another man and that she came back to get her jewelry. Still in love with her, Murray promises to get the jewelry back. He takes out an insurance policy, and then tries to win the money to buy back the jewelry from Mositer in a crap game, but loses over $200,000 to him. When Murray tells Mositer that he is going to reveal to the district attorney that Mositer killed Traylor, Mositer shoots Murray, who then confesses that he arranged to die so that should he lose, the insurance money could be used to buy back Virginia's jewelry. Tommy brings Virginia to Murray's hospital room and encourages her to lie to him. After she tells Murray that she's coming back to him, Murray dies. +

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.