For the Love of Mike (1927)

Comedy-drama | 31 July 1927

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HISTORY

The film's working title was Hell's Kitchen. The summary was based on press material in the copyright descriptions and reviews. Sources conflict concerning the scenarist: while information in the copyright descriptions, possibly taken from a print of the film, credits J. Clarkson Miller, the FD review credits Leland Hayward [although his name is mistakenly spelled "Heywood"]. According to Var, there were two shots in the film that may have come from newsreels: a "melting pot" shot at the beginning of the film; and an airplane shot of the regatta. For the Love of Mike was the first film of actress Claudette Colbert (1903--1996), who was born in France but became one of the most popular American stars of the 1930s through the 1940s. According to modern sources, she starred in the Broadway play The Barker in the evenings during the production schedule and vowed not to make any more films afterward.
       The 26 Jun 1927 FD reported that Joe Boyle was directing, and that Leland Howard was one of the actors. However, Boyle was not listed in final credits, and Howard was listed as a scenario writer, not a performer. In his autobiography, Capra states that Leland Hayward was the production manager and Joe Boyle the assistant director. He also notes that the film was shot at the Hearst-Cosmopolitan studio in New York and on location in Connecticut; that the budget was inadequate and he was not paid, due to financial difficulties of producer Robert Kane; and that because the film was a commercial failure, he returned to the Mack Sennett studio as a writer.
       Modern sources ... More Less

The film's working title was Hell's Kitchen. The summary was based on press material in the copyright descriptions and reviews. Sources conflict concerning the scenarist: while information in the copyright descriptions, possibly taken from a print of the film, credits J. Clarkson Miller, the FD review credits Leland Hayward [although his name is mistakenly spelled "Heywood"]. According to Var, there were two shots in the film that may have come from newsreels: a "melting pot" shot at the beginning of the film; and an airplane shot of the regatta. For the Love of Mike was the first film of actress Claudette Colbert (1903--1996), who was born in France but became one of the most popular American stars of the 1930s through the 1940s. According to modern sources, she starred in the Broadway play The Barker in the evenings during the production schedule and vowed not to make any more films afterward.
       The 26 Jun 1927 FD reported that Joe Boyle was directing, and that Leland Howard was one of the actors. However, Boyle was not listed in final credits, and Howard was listed as a scenario writer, not a performer. In his autobiography, Capra states that Leland Hayward was the production manager and Joe Boyle the assistant director. He also notes that the film was shot at the Hearst-Cosmopolitan studio in New York and on location in Connecticut; that the budget was inadequate and he was not paid, due to financial difficulties of producer Robert Kane; and that because the film was a commercial failure, he returned to the Mack Sennett studio as a writer.
       Modern sources note that Benny Rubin stated he wrote gags for the film, that the running time was seventy-five minutes, and that prints from the film no longer survive. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
26 Jun 1927
p. 7.
Film Daily
4 Sep 1927
p. 27.
Moving Picture World
2 May 1927
p. 829.
New York Times
24 Aug 1927
p. 27.
Variety
24 Aug 1927
p. 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the story "Hell's Kitchen" by John Moroso (publication undetermined).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Hell's Kitchen
Release Date:
31 July 1927
Copyright Claimant:
First National Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1927
Copyright Number:
LP24252
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,588
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

A not yet one-year-old boy, abandoned on a landing in a tenement house in New York's "Hell's Kitchen," is adopted by three men who live on that floor: German delicatessen owner Herman Schultz; Jewish tailor Abie Katz; and Irish street cleaner Patrick O'Malley. The men, although ignorant in the ways of infants, rear the child, whom they call "Mike." After the boy finishes high school, they plan to send him to college, but Mike wants to work rather than be a burden to them any longer. However, when Mary, their Italian-American neighbor who works as Herman's cashier, joins the men in trying to convince Mike otherwise, he agrees to go to Yale. On his twenty-first birthday, the three "fathers" have prepared a lavish banquet for Mike, now captain of the varsity crew and very popular, so that he could meet leading politicians, bankers and businessmen who might offer him a good job. Before going to the banquet, Mike gets drunk at a cocktail party to which he is lured by Evelyn Joyce, who is attracted to him. When he finally arrives at the banquet, the prominent people leave, insulted by his drunken behavior. When Mike later angrily turns against his three fathers, Patrick knocks him out. Back at college, Mike begins to gamble and gets in debt to Henry Sharp, a crooked gambler. Sharp threatens to have Mike arrested for writing a bad check unless he throws the upcoming Yale-Harvard crew race, but when Mike sees that his three fathers and Mary have come and are betting on him, he rows the team to victory. When Sharp threatens the fathers with sending Mike to jail, ... +


A not yet one-year-old boy, abandoned on a landing in a tenement house in New York's "Hell's Kitchen," is adopted by three men who live on that floor: German delicatessen owner Herman Schultz; Jewish tailor Abie Katz; and Irish street cleaner Patrick O'Malley. The men, although ignorant in the ways of infants, rear the child, whom they call "Mike." After the boy finishes high school, they plan to send him to college, but Mike wants to work rather than be a burden to them any longer. However, when Mary, their Italian-American neighbor who works as Herman's cashier, joins the men in trying to convince Mike otherwise, he agrees to go to Yale. On his twenty-first birthday, the three "fathers" have prepared a lavish banquet for Mike, now captain of the varsity crew and very popular, so that he could meet leading politicians, bankers and businessmen who might offer him a good job. Before going to the banquet, Mike gets drunk at a cocktail party to which he is lured by Evelyn Joyce, who is attracted to him. When he finally arrives at the banquet, the prominent people leave, insulted by his drunken behavior. When Mike later angrily turns against his three fathers, Patrick knocks him out. Back at college, Mike begins to gamble and gets in debt to Henry Sharp, a crooked gambler. Sharp threatens to have Mike arrested for writing a bad check unless he throws the upcoming Yale-Harvard crew race, but when Mike sees that his three fathers and Mary have come and are betting on him, he rows the team to victory. When Sharp threatens the fathers with sending Mike to jail, they push him overboard. Mike, now acclaimed by his school, forgiven by his fathers and loved by Mary, happily paddles to the crew house. +

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

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