Stingaree (1934)

73 or 75-76 mins | Comedy-drama | 25 May 1934

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HISTORY

Although onscreen credits indicate that the film was based on a series of Hornung "stories," Hornung wrote a novel called Stingaree, which probably provided some if not most of the film's narrative. The Var review notes that excerpts from Charles François Gounod's Faust and Friedrich Flotow 's Martha: Oder der Markt von Richmond are "introduced as parts of the mimic stage performance." RKO borrowed cameramen James Van Trees, James Van Trees, Jr. and Louis Jennings from Fox. A Jun 1933 HR pre-production news item announced Dorothy Wilson as a "featured" cast member, but her appearance in the final film is doubtful. According to another HR news item, Leslie Banks was also cast, but he was not in the released film.
       According to RKO production files, exteriors were shot at the Edgar Rice Burroughs Ranch and at the Tarzana Golf Course in Tarzana, CA, and in Sherwood Forest, CA. In addition, scenes set in the Melbourne Opera House were filmed on the Phantom of the Opera set at Universal Studios. RKO production files indicate that Joseph I. Breen, Director of Public Relations for the Hays Office, requested many changes and deletions in the script before approving the film. In letters to RKO executive Merian C. Cooper, dating from 21 Jan to 10 Apr 1934, Breen asked that many lines and words with questionable connotations, such as "Perhaps Stingaree has got him in a ditch with his pants down" and "She goes to bed with Dizzy's plans and wakes up filled with an empire," be deleted. Hornung's story was first filmed as a twelve-episode silent serial, ...

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Although onscreen credits indicate that the film was based on a series of Hornung "stories," Hornung wrote a novel called Stingaree, which probably provided some if not most of the film's narrative. The Var review notes that excerpts from Charles François Gounod's Faust and Friedrich Flotow 's Martha: Oder der Markt von Richmond are "introduced as parts of the mimic stage performance." RKO borrowed cameramen James Van Trees, James Van Trees, Jr. and Louis Jennings from Fox. A Jun 1933 HR pre-production news item announced Dorothy Wilson as a "featured" cast member, but her appearance in the final film is doubtful. According to another HR news item, Leslie Banks was also cast, but he was not in the released film.
       According to RKO production files, exteriors were shot at the Edgar Rice Burroughs Ranch and at the Tarzana Golf Course in Tarzana, CA, and in Sherwood Forest, CA. In addition, scenes set in the Melbourne Opera House were filmed on the Phantom of the Opera set at Universal Studios. RKO production files indicate that Joseph I. Breen, Director of Public Relations for the Hays Office, requested many changes and deletions in the script before approving the film. In letters to RKO executive Merian C. Cooper, dating from 21 Jan to 10 Apr 1934, Breen asked that many lines and words with questionable connotations, such as "Perhaps Stingaree has got him in a ditch with his pants down" and "She goes to bed with Dizzy's plans and wakes up filled with an empire," be deleted. Hornung's story was first filmed as a twelve-episode silent serial, produced by the Kalem Company and called The Adventures of Stingaree.
       Stingaree was one of six RKO films broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) network in Apr 2007 after not being publicly screened for decades. For information on issues involving the rights and restoration of these pictures, please consult the entry above for Double Harness.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
Music note credit:
Corporate note credit:
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Feb 1934
p. 7
Daily Variety
21 Mar 1934
p. 3
Daily Variety
30 Apr 1934
p. 3
Film Daily
12 May 1934
p. 4
HF
24 Feb 1934
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 1933
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 1933
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 1933
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1934
p. 3
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 2007
Calendar, p. 24
Motion Picture Daily
1 May 1934
p. 8
Motion Picture Herald
7 Apr 1934
p. 68
Motion Picture Herald
12 May 1934
p. 37
New York Times
18 May 1934
p. 27
Variety
22 May 1934
p. 15
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Merian C. Cooper presentation
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
William Wellman
Dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Adpt
Contr to scr const
Contr to scr const
Contr to scr const
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
Louis Jennings
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Al Herman
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
James B. Morley
Ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd tech
Jim Fields
Asst rec
Mus rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Scr clerk
Prod coord
Best boy
Still photog
STAND INS
Kenny Cooper
Double for Richard Dix
Double for Richard Dix
Double for Richard Dix
Double for George Barraud
Stand-in for Irene Dunne
Stand-in for Richard Dix
Stand-in for Andy Devine
Stand-in for Henry Stephenson
Stand-in
Stand-in
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Stingaree by E. W. Hornung (New York, 1905) and his other "Stingaree" stories.
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Tonight Is Mine" and "Stingaree Ballad," music by Franke Harling, lyrics by Gus Kahn; "I Wish I Were a Fisherman" and "Once You're Mine," music and lyrics by Edward Eliscu and Max Steiner.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 May 1934
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 May 1934
Production Date:
12 Feb--20 Mar 1934
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
24 May 1934
LP4740
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73 or 75-76
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In 1874, in the Australian outback, police inspector Radford chats with wealthy sheepman Hugh Clarkson and his wife about Stingaree, the country's prized outlaw. Everyone, including Hilda Bouverie, the Clarkson's maid who has been with the family since her father's death four years before, is anticipating the arrival of Sir Julian Kent, a famous London composer. Mrs. Clarkson hopes Sir Julian will launch her career as a singer, although her vocal talents leave the servants and Mr. Clarkson on edge. At the Munnedah Bar and Stage Depot, the inebriated Radford greets Sir Julian, who arrives by stagecoach. The music-loving Stingaree, who is masquerading as "Mr. Smithson," an importer of musical instruments, enters and begins a conversation with Sir Julian about current events in London. With his valet and companion, Howie, Stingaree then abducts and flees with Sir Julian. The next day, as the Clarksons leave to meet Sir Julian, unaware he has been kidnapped, Stingaree arrives at the house and overhears Hilda singing at the piano. She mistakes Stingaree for Sir Julian, and impressed by her musical proficiency, he agrees to help her train her voice without revealing his true identity. Their attraction to each other grows as Hilda explains that her late mother had been a professional singer, but had abandoned her career to be with her husband. When Hilda innocently introduces Stingaree as Sir Julian, he struggles to explain to the Clarksons his "escape" from the two outlaws. While the now-sober Radford confides to Hilda that it is Stingaree who is her guest, Stingaree repeats the information he extracted from Sir Julian the previous night in order to endear himself ...

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In 1874, in the Australian outback, police inspector Radford chats with wealthy sheepman Hugh Clarkson and his wife about Stingaree, the country's prized outlaw. Everyone, including Hilda Bouverie, the Clarkson's maid who has been with the family since her father's death four years before, is anticipating the arrival of Sir Julian Kent, a famous London composer. Mrs. Clarkson hopes Sir Julian will launch her career as a singer, although her vocal talents leave the servants and Mr. Clarkson on edge. At the Munnedah Bar and Stage Depot, the inebriated Radford greets Sir Julian, who arrives by stagecoach. The music-loving Stingaree, who is masquerading as "Mr. Smithson," an importer of musical instruments, enters and begins a conversation with Sir Julian about current events in London. With his valet and companion, Howie, Stingaree then abducts and flees with Sir Julian. The next day, as the Clarksons leave to meet Sir Julian, unaware he has been kidnapped, Stingaree arrives at the house and overhears Hilda singing at the piano. She mistakes Stingaree for Sir Julian, and impressed by her musical proficiency, he agrees to help her train her voice without revealing his true identity. Their attraction to each other grows as Hilda explains that her late mother had been a professional singer, but had abandoned her career to be with her husband. When Hilda innocently introduces Stingaree as Sir Julian, he struggles to explain to the Clarksons his "escape" from the two outlaws. While the now-sober Radford confides to Hilda that it is Stingaree who is her guest, Stingaree repeats the information he extracted from Sir Julian the previous night in order to endear himself to the Clarksons. Once uncovered, Stingaree flees with Hilda and discovers from Howie that Sir Juilan really has escaped. Stingaree returns with Hilda that night to a party honoring Sir Julian and forces the guests to listen to her voice. Stingaree is captured, but sends word from prison that Hilda must gain her freedom from her servant life and leave with Sir Julian, who has agreed to train her voice and manage her operatic career. Following successes in Italy, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and at Covent Gardens in London, particularly in the title role of Martha , Hilda falls in love with Sir Julian and plans to marry him. On the eve of their honeymoon, however, Hilda realizes that she must return to Stingaree and forsake her career. She agrees to Sir Julian's request for a final concert in Melbourne, where she is poorly received until Stingaree, who is recently escaped from prison, arrives, masquerading as the newly appointed governor general. Stingaree's disguise is unmasked as Hilda sings "Tonight Is Mine," and he flees through the stage door. Later, in her room at the governor's residence, Hilda welcomes Stingaree through the window. As the police close in, they kiss and leave together on horseback, accompanied by Howie.

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

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