Hangman's House (1928)

Melodrama | 13 May 1928

Director:

John Ford

Writer:

Cinematographer:

George Schneiderman

Production Designer:

William Darling

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a studio directory in the 18 Feb 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began 13 Jan 1928.
       Director John Ford's only onscreen credit was on the second title card, which reads "John Ford Production." Some sources credited Willard Mack with the scenario, but screen credits, copyright records and all available reviews credit Marion Orth. Although Mack wrote a play based on Hangman's House, which ran for eight performances on Broadway beginning 16 Dec 1926, the extent of his contribution to the film has not been determined. Most reviews list the character portrayed by Larry Kent as "Dermott McDermott," but in the film's opening credits, as well as in the intertitles, the name is spelled "Dermot McDermot."
       According to various news items, including an article in LAT on 11 Mar 1928, Victor McLaglen replaced William Farnum in the role of "Citizen Hogan" after Farnam became ill at the start of production. The character of "Anne McDermot," Dermot's mother, portrayed by Belle Stoddard, was not in the print viewed, although the character was mentioned within the story and many reviews included Stoddard in the cast.
       Prominent American-born, Irish author Donn Byrne (pseud. of Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne, 1898--1928), died in an automobile accident in Ireland on 18 Jun 1928, a few weeks after the U.S. opening of Hangman's House.
       The film print for Hangman's House was fully restored by The Film Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 by director Martin ... More Less

According to a studio directory in the 18 Feb 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began 13 Jan 1928.
       Director John Ford's only onscreen credit was on the second title card, which reads "John Ford Production." Some sources credited Willard Mack with the scenario, but screen credits, copyright records and all available reviews credit Marion Orth. Although Mack wrote a play based on Hangman's House, which ran for eight performances on Broadway beginning 16 Dec 1926, the extent of his contribution to the film has not been determined. Most reviews list the character portrayed by Larry Kent as "Dermott McDermott," but in the film's opening credits, as well as in the intertitles, the name is spelled "Dermot McDermot."
       According to various news items, including an article in LAT on 11 Mar 1928, Victor McLaglen replaced William Farnum in the role of "Citizen Hogan" after Farnam became ill at the start of production. The character of "Anne McDermot," Dermot's mother, portrayed by Belle Stoddard, was not in the print viewed, although the character was mentioned within the story and many reviews included Stoddard in the cast.
       Prominent American-born, Irish author Donn Byrne (pseud. of Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne, 1898--1928), died in an automobile accident in Ireland on 18 Jun 1928, a few weeks after the U.S. opening of Hangman's House.
       The film print for Hangman's House was fully restored by The Film Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 by director Martin Scorsese. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
18 Feb 1928
p. 33.
Film Daily
20 May 1928.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Mar 1928
p. C18.
New York Times
16 Dec 1926.
---
New York Times
14 May 1928
p. 30.
Rochester Evening Journal & Post Express
25 Jun 1928.
---
Sarasota Herald
8 Jul 1928
p. 12.
Variety
16 May 1928
p. 13.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 May 1928
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 12 May 1928
Production Date:
began 13 January 1928
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 May 1928
Copyright Number:
LP25248
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,518
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Denis “Citizen” Hogan, a condemned man in his native Ireland, now lives in Algeria as a respected officer in the French Foreign Legion. When Hogan receives a disturbing telegram, he bids goodbye to his comrades, saying that he must return to Ireland to kill a man. Meanwhile, Lord Justice James O'Brien, Baron of Glenmalure, guilt-ridden and cursed by the Irish as “Jimmy the Hangman” because of his ruthlessness in sentencing men to the gallows, is told by his doctors that he will soon die. His daughter Connaught and neighbor Dermot McDermot have been in love all their lives, but O'Brien insists that she marry politically connected wastrel John D'Arcy, recently arrived from Paris. Despite her love for Dermot, Conn marries D'Arcy to give her father his dying wish. After O’Brien’s death, Conn continues to live in “Hangman’s House,” but is married to D’Arcy in name only, preferring to spend her time training her prize racehorse, The Bard of Glenmalure. Hogan, now in Glenmalure and assuming various disguises, has shown himself to D'Arcy, who is terrified. On St. Stephen’s Day, the day of the county’s cross country race, Hogan, in disguise as a blind man, asks D’Arcy if he has lived in Paris. Frightened, D’Arcy lies that he has never been to Paris. After dismissing Conn’s question about his lie, he informs an English officer that Hogan is there, leading to his arrest. Conn, as well as everyone else at the race, now shuns D’Arcy for being an informer. As Hogan is led to the paddy wagon, he amiably asks if he may watch the race, a request that the ... +


Denis “Citizen” Hogan, a condemned man in his native Ireland, now lives in Algeria as a respected officer in the French Foreign Legion. When Hogan receives a disturbing telegram, he bids goodbye to his comrades, saying that he must return to Ireland to kill a man. Meanwhile, Lord Justice James O'Brien, Baron of Glenmalure, guilt-ridden and cursed by the Irish as “Jimmy the Hangman” because of his ruthlessness in sentencing men to the gallows, is told by his doctors that he will soon die. His daughter Connaught and neighbor Dermot McDermot have been in love all their lives, but O'Brien insists that she marry politically connected wastrel John D'Arcy, recently arrived from Paris. Despite her love for Dermot, Conn marries D'Arcy to give her father his dying wish. After O’Brien’s death, Conn continues to live in “Hangman’s House,” but is married to D’Arcy in name only, preferring to spend her time training her prize racehorse, The Bard of Glenmalure. Hogan, now in Glenmalure and assuming various disguises, has shown himself to D'Arcy, who is terrified. On St. Stephen’s Day, the day of the county’s cross country race, Hogan, in disguise as a blind man, asks D’Arcy if he has lived in Paris. Frightened, D’Arcy lies that he has never been to Paris. After dismissing Conn’s question about his lie, he informs an English officer that Hogan is there, leading to his arrest. Conn, as well as everyone else at the race, now shuns D’Arcy for being an informer. As Hogan is led to the paddy wagon, he amiably asks if he may watch the race, a request that the officer grants. Before the race starts, Conn’s butler tells her that The Bard’s jockey has run off. Dermot decides to ride The Bard himself, over D’Arcy’s objections and Conn’s suspicions that D’Arcy is responsible for the missing jockey. D’Arcy then admits to her that he has wagered against The Bard because there were better odds. When Dermot and The Bard win the race, the crowd erupts in cheers, but D’Arcy, who badly needs money, becomes so enraged that he shoots and kills the horse. As the crowd pushes toward D’Arcy with rising hatred, the English officer suggests putting him in the paddy wagon for his own protection, but Hogan refuses to ride with him. Sometime later, as D’Arcy is walking in town, he sees Dermot and asks to speak with him. At a local pub, D’Arcy reveals that Hogan hates him because he married his sister. Shocked that D’Arcy would marry Conn when he already had a wife, Dermot gives him money and orders him to leave Ireland. Meanwhile, Hogan is broken out of jail by his compatriots and goes into hiding. Hoping to confirm that D’Arcy and Conn were not legally married, Dermot, who soon discovers the inn where Hogan is hiding, takes Conn with him across the river to see him. Hogan welcomes Dermot, then shows him the telegram he received in Algeria, informing him that his sister had died after being deserted by D’Arcy. Even knowing that her marriage to D’Arcy was valid, Conn asks Dermot to run away with her, but he sadly takes her home. Unknown to Dermot, D’Arcy has never left Hangman’s House. He tries to force himself on Conn, but her butler and his dog protect her. She then goes to Dermot’s house to stay with his mother. Later, Neddy Joe tells Hogan about D’Arcy’s nightly ritual of taking Conn’s valuables and selling them. Hogan decides to confront D’Arcy, and arrives at the house at the same time as Dermot. Inside, Hogan sees a rag dipped in coal oil and accuses D’Arcy of planning to burn the house to the ground after removing the valuables. Hogan is about to have a duel with him when D’Arcy knocks over a candelabra and starts a fire. As the mansion quickly becomes engulfed in flames, Dermot takes Hogan to safety, but D’Arcy runs up the stairs and becomes trapped. As crowds gather to watch, D’Arcy falls to his death from a burning terrace. Freed of the past, Conn and Dermot can now marry, and Hogan returns to Algeria, leaving his beloved home. +

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.