Dynamite (1929)

128 mins | Melodrama | 13 December 1929

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Producer:

Cecil B. DeMille

Cinematographer:

Peverell Marley

Editor:

Anne Bauchens

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Mitchell Leisen

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a production directory in the 20 Apr 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, the starting date for Dynamite was 14 Jan 1929. A 5 Mar 1929 dateline item in the 9 Mar 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that Dynamite was completed that week.
       A profile article about actor George O’Brien in the May 1929 issue of Picture-Play magazine mentioned that Cecil B. De Mille wanted him to star in Dynamite, but despite O’Brien’s desire to be in the picture, he was prevented by his company, Fox Pictures. De Mille also borrowed Carol Lombard from Pathé, according to the 2 Feb 1929 Motion Picture News and the Mar 1929 Photoplay, but the company recalled her for another film before shooting began.
       Dynamite was De Mille’s first film at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M), and his first “all-talking production,” according to the 9 Feb 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World. He finished rehearsals on M-G-M’s Culver City, CA, soundstages ahead of schedule and began shooting there on set..
       Actor Casson Ferguson died during production on 12 Feb 1929, one day after completing his scenes, according to the Apr 1929 Photo-Play. Pianist Jack King, who composed the Dynamite theme song, “How Am I To Know, was also employed on the film as an actor, the 23 Mar 1929 Motion Picture News noted. The 23 Feb 1929 Motion Picture News reported that George Fawcett had taken a role “originally assigned the late Theodore Roberts,” who had appeared in two dozen of De Mille’s films before his death on 14 Dec 1928.
       ... More Less

According to a production directory in the 20 Apr 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, the starting date for Dynamite was 14 Jan 1929. A 5 Mar 1929 dateline item in the 9 Mar 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that Dynamite was completed that week.
       A profile article about actor George O’Brien in the May 1929 issue of Picture-Play magazine mentioned that Cecil B. De Mille wanted him to star in Dynamite, but despite O’Brien’s desire to be in the picture, he was prevented by his company, Fox Pictures. De Mille also borrowed Carol Lombard from Pathé, according to the 2 Feb 1929 Motion Picture News and the Mar 1929 Photoplay, but the company recalled her for another film before shooting began.
       Dynamite was De Mille’s first film at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M), and his first “all-talking production,” according to the 9 Feb 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World. He finished rehearsals on M-G-M’s Culver City, CA, soundstages ahead of schedule and began shooting there on set..
       Actor Casson Ferguson died during production on 12 Feb 1929, one day after completing his scenes, according to the Apr 1929 Photo-Play. Pianist Jack King, who composed the Dynamite theme song, “How Am I To Know, was also employed on the film as an actor, the 23 Mar 1929 Motion Picture News noted. The 23 Feb 1929 Motion Picture News reported that George Fawcett had taken a role “originally assigned the late Theodore Roberts,” who had appeared in two dozen of De Mille’s films before his death on 14 Dec 1928.
       The film premiered 25 Jul 1929 at Hollywood, CA’s Carthay Circle Theatre at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard.
       M-G-M had forty “dialog” films and sixteen silent movies scheduled for its upcoming theatrical year, beginning in Aug 1929, the 29 Jun 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World reported. Dynamite was released in both silent and sound versions. In reviewing both, the 26 Oct 1929 Motion Picture News praised the silent Dynamite as “a mighty entertaining picture,” despite its “far-fetched and leaning toward the impossible” story. The reviewer commented that the sound version “was made in the technique of its erstwhile brother, the silent film,” but “Here and there, its movement seems slightly impaired by the dialogue.” Otherwise, it was an “excellent” film, whose sound was “true,” corroborating De Mille’s claim that “not a foot of film had sound or dialogue dubbed in.”
       After his introduction to the new medium of sound, De Mille told the 12 Oct 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World that the requirements of dialogue changed everything. The headline said it all: “Hollywood Needs Brains, Skin Deep Beauty Should Stay Home: De Mille.” The director claimed that with the arrival of talking pictures, “a high school education should be a minimum requirement for screen aspirants.” He added, “There is no place more discouraging [than 1929 Hollywood] to a girl possessing nothing but beauty.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald-World
9 Feb 1929
p. 54.
Exhibitors Herald-World
9 Mar 1929
p. 39.
Exhibitors Herald-World
20 Apr 1929
p. 50.
Exhibitors Herald-World
29 Jun 1929
pp. 129-130.
Exhibitors Herald-World
12 Oct 1929
p. 29.
Film Daily
13 Dec 1929
p. 8.
Film Daily
29 Dec 1929
p. 8.
Motion Picture News
2 Feb 1929
p. 386.
Motion Picture News
23 Feb 1929
p. 566.
Motion Picture News
23 Mar 1929
p. 928.
Motion Picture News
29 Jun 1929
pp. 35-36.
Motion Picture News
13 Jul 1929
p. 197.
Motion Picture News
27 Jul 1929
p. 376.
Motion Picture News
26 Oct 1929
p. 23.
New Movie Magazine
Dec 1929
p. 32.
New York Times
28 Dec 1929
p. 11.
Photoplay
Mar 1929
p. 19.
Photoplay
Apr 1929
p. 6.
Photoplay
Oct 1929
p. 53.
Picture-Play
May 1929
pp. 34-35.
Time
25 Jan 1930
p. 23.
Variety
1 Jan 1930
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Cecil B. DeMille's Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec eng
SOURCES
SONGS
"How Am I To Know?" words by Dorothy Parker, music by Jack King.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 December 1929
Premiere Information:
Hollywood premiere: 25 July 1929
Production Date:
14 January - early March 1929
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 September 1929
Copyright Number:
LP704
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Silent
10,771 ft.
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
128
Length(in feet):
11,584
Length(in reels):
14
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Society girl Cynthia Crothers weds Hagon Derk, a miner sentenced to be executed for murder, to fulfill the terms of her grandfather's will that she be married. Just before his execution, Derk is exonerated, thus dashing Cynthia's hope of marrying her lover, Roger, a man whose wife refuses to divorce him. Advised by her lawyers that she should live with her husband so as to obtain her money, Cynthia goes to the mining town and lives the life of a miner's wife. There she realizes the futility of her former life when a mine disaster threatens to take both Hagon and Roger away from her. After Roger is killed in a dynamite explosion while helping them escape, Cynthia finds happiness with the ... +


Society girl Cynthia Crothers weds Hagon Derk, a miner sentenced to be executed for murder, to fulfill the terms of her grandfather's will that she be married. Just before his execution, Derk is exonerated, thus dashing Cynthia's hope of marrying her lover, Roger, a man whose wife refuses to divorce him. Advised by her lawyers that she should live with her husband so as to obtain her money, Cynthia goes to the mining town and lives the life of a miner's wife. There she realizes the futility of her former life when a mine disaster threatens to take both Hagon and Roger away from her. After Roger is killed in a dynamite explosion while helping them escape, Cynthia finds happiness with the miner. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Society


Subject

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

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