The Golden Calf (1930)

69 mins | Musical, Romantic comedy | 16 March 1930

Director:

Millard Webb

Cinematographer:

Lucien Andriot

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

This film was based on Aaron Davis’s 1926 short story of the same name. Various contemporary news items, including the 28 Dec 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, reported that production began on 13 Dec 1929 at Fox Film Corp.’s West Coast studios in Los Angeles, CA. The following month, an item in the 31 Jan 1930 Exhibitors Daily Review and Motion Pictures Today indicated that shooting was still underway, and announced a title change from The Golden Calf to The Unknown Beauty; however, the film was released as The Golden Calf.
       A general release date of 16 Mar 1930 was set. Prior to theatrical release in Virginia, state authorities ordered three objectionable scenes to be removed, according to the 3 May 1930 Motion Picture News.
       Six foreign-language versions were made for overseas distribution. The 5 Jul 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World stated that the foreign-language edits were officiated by Valdemar Larsen for Sweden and Denmark; Fritz Stephani for Germany; Frank Puglia for Italy; Rena Cardona for Spain; and Henri Paillai for France.
       Prior to this version, Kane Studios and First National Pictures, Inc., had planned to make a screen adaptation of Aaron Davis’s “The Golden Calf,” starring Ben Lyon, according to an 8 Jul 1927 Motion Picture News item. However, the 12 May 1928 Harrison’s Reports noted that First National had replaced the project with The Whip Woman (1928, see entry).
       Ziegfeld Follies performer Noel Francis was named as a cast member in the 8 Dec 1929 Film Daily. ...

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This film was based on Aaron Davis’s 1926 short story of the same name. Various contemporary news items, including the 28 Dec 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, reported that production began on 13 Dec 1929 at Fox Film Corp.’s West Coast studios in Los Angeles, CA. The following month, an item in the 31 Jan 1930 Exhibitors Daily Review and Motion Pictures Today indicated that shooting was still underway, and announced a title change from The Golden Calf to The Unknown Beauty; however, the film was released as The Golden Calf.
       A general release date of 16 Mar 1930 was set. Prior to theatrical release in Virginia, state authorities ordered three objectionable scenes to be removed, according to the 3 May 1930 Motion Picture News.
       Six foreign-language versions were made for overseas distribution. The 5 Jul 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World stated that the foreign-language edits were officiated by Valdemar Larsen for Sweden and Denmark; Fritz Stephani for Germany; Frank Puglia for Italy; Rena Cardona for Spain; and Henri Paillai for France.
       Prior to this version, Kane Studios and First National Pictures, Inc., had planned to make a screen adaptation of Aaron Davis’s “The Golden Calf,” starring Ben Lyon, according to an 8 Jul 1927 Motion Picture News item. However, the 12 May 1928 Harrison’s Reports noted that First National had replaced the project with The Whip Woman (1928, see entry).
       Ziegfeld Follies performer Noel Francis was named as a cast member in the 8 Dec 1929 Film Daily.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Daily Review and Motion Pictures Today
27 Jan 1930
p. 4
Exhibitors Daily Review and Motion Pictures Today
31 Jan 1930
p. 4
Exhibitors Daily Review and Motion Pictures Today
30 Apr 1930
p. 3
Exhibitors Herald
2 Jul 1927
p. 54
Exhibitors Herald-World
11 Jan 1930
p. 51
Exhibitors Herald-World
28 Dec 1929
p. 45
Exhibitors Herald-World
4 Jan 1930
p. 59
Exhibitors Herald-World
5 Jul 1930
p. 41
Exhibitors Herald-World
20 Sep 1930
p. 7
Film Daily
8 Dec 1929
p. 10
Film Daily
11 Dec 1929
p. 8
Film Daily
3 Feb 1930
p. 8
Film Daily
11 May 1930
p. 10
Fox West Coast Theaters Now
16 Apr 1930
---
Harrison's Reports
12 May 1928
---
Harrison's Reports
30 Jun 1928
---
Harrison's Reports
12 Apr 1930
p. 58
Hollywood Filmograph
18 Jan 1930
p. 6, 16
Hollywood Filmograph
24 May 1930
p. 13
Motion Picture News
4 Mar 1927
p. 798
Motion Picture News
22 Feb 1930
p. 39
Motion Picture News
3 May 1930
p. 20
Motion Picture News
17 May 1930
p. 40
Motion Picture News
8 Jul 1927
p. 38
Motion Picture News
2 Sep 1927
p. 704
Motion Picture News
2 Nov 1929
p. 91
National Board of Review Magazine
Mar 1930
p. 17
Screenland
Aug 1930
p. 88
Variety
4 Dec 1929
p. 5
Variety
2 Apr 1930
p. 5
Variety
30 Apr 1930
p. 35
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Staged by
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
SOUND
Donald Flick
Sd
DANCE
Ensemble dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Golden Calf" by Aaron Davis in Liberty (25 Dec 1926).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"(You Gotta Be) Modernistic," "Maybe Someday," "Can I Help It If I'm In Love With You?" "I'm Tellin' The World About You," and "A Picture No Artist Can Paint," words by Cliff Friend, music by Jimmy Monaco.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Unknown Beauty
Release Date:
16 March 1930
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 May 1930
Production Date:
began 13 Dec 1929
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Fox Film Corp.
17 February 1930
LP1118
Physical Properties:
Sound
Movietone
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69
Length(in feet):
6,552 , 6,800
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Marybelle Cobb, a plain and old-fashioned girl, is secretary to commercial illustrator Philip Homer, with whom she is secretly in love. When Homer advertises for a girl with perfect leg measurements to be a model for a hosiery manufacturer's advertising, Marybelle, with the aid of her friend Alice, decides to transform herself completely and apply for the job. She wins the much-sought-after appointment against considerable opposition. When Homer's indifference turns to love, Marybelle confesses the deception and all ends ...

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Marybelle Cobb, a plain and old-fashioned girl, is secretary to commercial illustrator Philip Homer, with whom she is secretly in love. When Homer advertises for a girl with perfect leg measurements to be a model for a hosiery manufacturer's advertising, Marybelle, with the aid of her friend Alice, decides to transform herself completely and apply for the job. She wins the much-sought-after appointment against considerable opposition. When Homer's indifference turns to love, Marybelle confesses the deception and all ends well.

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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.