It Had to Happen (1936)

79-80 mins | Drama | 14 February 1936

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HISTORY

The only screen credits on the print viewed were end credits listing actors and their roles; the above credits not in brackets were taken from company records listing screen credits in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. 20th Century Pictures, Inc. originally planned to produce this film, with Clark Gable and Constance Bennett, according to a HR news item. According to the Var review for the 1915 film The Danger Signal , produced by George Kleine, directed by Walter Irwin and starring Arthur Hoops, the original story was inspired by the life of former Tammany Hall boss Richard Croker (see above). Notes from Darryl F. Zanuck concerning It Had to Happen , which was called at the time Canavan , beginning 17 Sep 1934 and a script as late as 30 Mar 1935 give the main character as an Irish immigrant named Canavan. In a script of 8 Oct 1935, the main character is called Scaffa. At the beginning of a screenplay for the film in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, also at UCLA, a quotation from the works of Friar Abbott (1659-1730) gives the source of the title: "Though there be the world between them, if it be ordained that this woman and this man are to be one, then so it will be; and no matter it take a lifetime ere these two can look upon each other in union--still, there can be no doubt, it had to happen."
       According to information in the legal records, Edith Ellis was assigned as a writer on this film, but none of ... More Less

The only screen credits on the print viewed were end credits listing actors and their roles; the above credits not in brackets were taken from company records listing screen credits in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. 20th Century Pictures, Inc. originally planned to produce this film, with Clark Gable and Constance Bennett, according to a HR news item. According to the Var review for the 1915 film The Danger Signal , produced by George Kleine, directed by Walter Irwin and starring Arthur Hoops, the original story was inspired by the life of former Tammany Hall boss Richard Croker (see above). Notes from Darryl F. Zanuck concerning It Had to Happen , which was called at the time Canavan , beginning 17 Sep 1934 and a script as late as 30 Mar 1935 give the main character as an Irish immigrant named Canavan. In a script of 8 Oct 1935, the main character is called Scaffa. At the beginning of a screenplay for the film in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, also at UCLA, a quotation from the works of Friar Abbott (1659-1730) gives the source of the title: "Though there be the world between them, if it be ordained that this woman and this man are to be one, then so it will be; and no matter it take a lifetime ere these two can look upon each other in union--still, there can be no doubt, it had to happen."
       According to information in the legal records, Edith Ellis was assigned as a writer on this film, but none of her material was used. Bert Glennon is listed for photography on an early advertising billing sheet, but it is not known if Glennon actually worked on any part of the film. According to a HR news item, director Roy Del Ruth called actor James Burke back in Jan 1936 for a week's shooting to build up his part. According to NYT , a few years earlier, when the censors complained about crime pictures, George Raft was assigned by Paramount to dancing pictures, which were deadly for his career; this was his first crime film since the earlier period. According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Joseph Breen, the PCA director, objected to a scene in the final shooting script from which an adulterous situation involving the character "John Pelkey" was implied; appropriate lines were subsequently deleted. In addition to the 1915 George Kleine production mentioned above, another film based on the same source was produced in 1921 and entitled Hold Your Horses , which was directed by E. Mason Hopper and starred Tom Moore (see above). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Nov 35
p. 3.
Daily Variety
27 Jan 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
15 Feb 36
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 36
sect. II, p. 69.
Motion Picture Daily
28 Jan 36
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Feb 36
p. 44.
New York Times
15 Feb 36
p. 18.
Variety
19 Feb 36
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Raymond Turner
James Dundee
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Writer of added scenes
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Settings
FILM EDITORS
Ed asst
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Canavan, the Man Who Had His Way" by Rupert Hughes in The Saturday Evening Post (11 Sep 1909).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Canavan
Release Date:
14 February 1936
Production Date:
14 November--17 December 1935
added scenes 8 January-13 January 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 February 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6182
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
79-80
Length(in feet):
7,184
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1825
SYNOPSIS

Disappointed at the opportunites for work afforded them, Italian immigrants Enrico Scaffa and Giuseppe Badjagaloupe get jobs as ditch diggers on a busy New York street. After the foreman gives Rico a red flag to stop traffic before an explosion, he begins to savor the taste of power that the flag gives him. Among the cars he enjoys stopping are the limousine of Beatrice Newnes, who complains that she is late for the races at Belmont, and that of the mayor, who becomes impressed with Rico's character and hires him as an assistant. Rico soon is feared as an unseen power, and when he learns that his district's branch of the Hudson Investment Trust is about to go under, he orders the district attorney to summon a special session of the grand jury to investigate because his people have their life savings invested there. Rico visits Rodman Drake, the head of the trust, who has married Beatrice, and tells him that the only way he can avoid the penitentiary is to give him four million dollars which, he says, he will see gets put back into the corporation before the examiner goes over the books. Drake agrees, but flies to Cuba in case there are problems. Rico, who says he has never had Beatrice out of his mind since he first saw her, persists in pursuing her and wagers a chance to take her to dinner that his horse, White Wing, will beat her horse, Lady Ann, in the upcoming race at Saratoga. After White Wing wins by a nose, Beatrice invites him to dinner, but after a romantic night, she finds that ... +


Disappointed at the opportunites for work afforded them, Italian immigrants Enrico Scaffa and Giuseppe Badjagaloupe get jobs as ditch diggers on a busy New York street. After the foreman gives Rico a red flag to stop traffic before an explosion, he begins to savor the taste of power that the flag gives him. Among the cars he enjoys stopping are the limousine of Beatrice Newnes, who complains that she is late for the races at Belmont, and that of the mayor, who becomes impressed with Rico's character and hires him as an assistant. Rico soon is feared as an unseen power, and when he learns that his district's branch of the Hudson Investment Trust is about to go under, he orders the district attorney to summon a special session of the grand jury to investigate because his people have their life savings invested there. Rico visits Rodman Drake, the head of the trust, who has married Beatrice, and tells him that the only way he can avoid the penitentiary is to give him four million dollars which, he says, he will see gets put back into the corporation before the examiner goes over the books. Drake agrees, but flies to Cuba in case there are problems. Rico, who says he has never had Beatrice out of his mind since he first saw her, persists in pursuing her and wagers a chance to take her to dinner that his horse, White Wing, will beat her horse, Lady Ann, in the upcoming race at Saratoga. After White Wing wins by a nose, Beatrice invites him to dinner, but after a romantic night, she finds that Drake has returned. She asks him for a divorce and says that she wants to marry Rico, but Drake begs her to remain because, he says, he needs her badly now. Beatrice and Rico agree not to see each other for two months. When one of the district attorney's men, John Pelkey, who has a grudge against Rico, tells Drake that Rico never deposited the four million dollars in the corporation, Drake agrees to cooperate in a grand jury investigation. Beatrice refuses to believe the accusation against Rico, and Drake orders her out of his house. After Rico tells Beatrice that he put the money into the trust, she agrees to marry him. Rico refuses to testify before the grand jury and thus implicate some innocent people who helped him secretly deposit the four million after the state examiner got hold the books so that Drake would not get caught. After his attorney advises him to leave the country until he can beat the indictment, Rico plans to go with Beatrice to Canada, where she can file for a divorce, but she walks out on him because she thinks he wants to run away like Drake instead of facing the charges like a man. Rico then grabs his red flag and interrupts the grand jury proceedings. He admits that he falsified records, but proves, through questioning Drake, that he did deposit the four million dollars. After he explains that he did it to avert a public scandal which threatened to undermine the confidence of depositors and investors, the district attorney concedes that he has been misled, and the proceedings are disbanded. Rico punches Pelkey and then awakens Beatrice, and still holding the red flag, tells her to get dressed and go to Reno for her divorce. He says he has to remain to take care of the people in town who accused him of taking a bribe, and after informing her that it is her job to love him until she dies, he orders her to kiss him, which she does again and again. +

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

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