The Lottery Bride (1930)

85 mins | Musical, Melodrama | 25 October 1930

Director:

Paul L. Stein

Producer:

Arthur Hammerstein

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Robert J. Kern

Production Company:

Joseph M. Schenck
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HISTORY

The 25 Oct 1929 FD and the 26 Oct 1929 Motion Picture News announced that Broadway musical producer Arthur Hammerstein signed a contract with Joseph M. Schenck’s United Artists Corp. (UA) to be the associate producer on four films over the following two years. Hammerstein would have full control over his pictures, and receive fifty percent of the profits. His first production was to be The Lottery Bride, which was titled Bride 66 at that time. The original story was written by Herbert Stothart. On 27 Oct 1929, FD reported that Hammerstein would leave NY for the coast that week, where he expected to spend five months in pre-production on the picture, followed by one month of shooting.
       The 19 Nov 1929 FD stated that Hammerstein’s actress wife, Dorothy Dalton, who had retired from acting in 1924 following her marriage, would be returning to the screen in the picture. Dalton was not credited in reviews. Similarly, the 11 Dec 1929 Var indicated that Eddie Clark had been hired to “write an original” for the musical, but Clark was not credited for contributions to either story or music writing. The 5 Feb 1930 Var announced that Helen Cohan, daughter of writer-composer George M. Cohan, had received a UA screen test the previous week, and was expected to make her acting debut in Bride 66. However, her name was not included in the cast list printed in the following day’s 6 Feb 1930 Var, which named Jeanette MacDonald as the star, and reported that Lois Moran had withdrawn from the film ... More Less

The 25 Oct 1929 FD and the 26 Oct 1929 Motion Picture News announced that Broadway musical producer Arthur Hammerstein signed a contract with Joseph M. Schenck’s United Artists Corp. (UA) to be the associate producer on four films over the following two years. Hammerstein would have full control over his pictures, and receive fifty percent of the profits. His first production was to be The Lottery Bride, which was titled Bride 66 at that time. The original story was written by Herbert Stothart. On 27 Oct 1929, FD reported that Hammerstein would leave NY for the coast that week, where he expected to spend five months in pre-production on the picture, followed by one month of shooting.
       The 19 Nov 1929 FD stated that Hammerstein’s actress wife, Dorothy Dalton, who had retired from acting in 1924 following her marriage, would be returning to the screen in the picture. Dalton was not credited in reviews. Similarly, the 11 Dec 1929 Var indicated that Eddie Clark had been hired to “write an original” for the musical, but Clark was not credited for contributions to either story or music writing. The 5 Feb 1930 Var announced that Helen Cohan, daughter of writer-composer George M. Cohan, had received a UA screen test the previous week, and was expected to make her acting debut in Bride 66. However, her name was not included in the cast list printed in the following day’s 6 Feb 1930 Var, which named Jeanette MacDonald as the star, and reported that Lois Moran had withdrawn from the film after being stricken with laryngitis. The 15 Feb 1930 Hollywood Filmograph stated that Phyllis Crane would play cabaret dancer “Kitty O’Reilly” in the picture, but neither Crane nor the character were later credited. The 29 Mar 1930 Hollywood Filmograph listed the following child actors who also appeared in the film: Dorothy Gray; Marilyn Harris; Patsy Page; Suzanne Ransom; Helen Parrish, and Betty Jane Graham. Finally, the 5 Apr 1930 Hollywood Filmograph added Michael Visaroff to the cast. The 25 Apr 1930 FD indicated that Robert Planck had “co-photographed” the picture.
       According to the 28 Dec 1929 Motion Picture News, Paul L. Stein had been hired to direct Bride 66. Principal photography was expected to begin in Feb 1930. On 29 Jan 1930, Var noted that filming was ready to begin, but UA supervisor John W. Considine Jr. halted production and insisted on story changes, reportedly upsetting both UA and Hammerstein.
       The 20 Feb 1930 Var announced that rehearsals were currently underway, and the 1 Mar 1930 Hollywood Filmograph indicated that principal photography had begun.
       The 5 Mar 1930 FD reported that the musical would contain Technicolor sequences.
       According to the 8 Mar 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World, a costly delay was avoided during production when Stein scrambled to replace a song that did not fit a scene. He chose a composition previously penned by Rudolph Friml and was able to obtain immediate consent from Friml, Hammerstein, and the music publisher, all of whom held song rights and happened to be on set.
       On 13 Apr 1930, FD announced that filming had recently finished.
       The 8 May 1930 FD noted the title change to Lottery Bride, and reported that a long $2 per ticket run had been booked on Broadway that summer. Hammerstein’s theater on 53rd Street was expected to house the film. The title was listed as The Lottery Bride, in the 14 Jun 1930 Motion Picture News.
       The film opened in Los Angeles at the United Artists Theatre on 25 Oct 1930, as announced in the 6 Dec 1930 Har. Although the 30 Jul 1930 Var reported a “tentative” 28 Aug 1930 opening at the Rialto Theatre in New York, the Rialto release was delayed until 28 Nov 1930, as indicated in the 3 Dec 1930 Var review.
       According to the 13 Sep 1930 Motion Picture News, Hammerstein was discouraged by the audience response to The Lottery Bride, complaining that viewers would “not stand for the best music” in motion pictures. Observing that viewers “either laughed, or paid no attention” during screenings, Hammerstein reportedly reshot most of the picture to appeal to “audience demands.” He had intended to produce additional operas for the screen, but vowed to give up making motion pictures and return to producing for the theater.
       Reviews were mixed. The 31 Aug 1930 FD noted the “fine performances” and “inspiring music” in the “lavish and colorful” film. The 3 Dec 1930 Var deemed The Lottery Bride “just a hopeless potpourri of meller, comedy and operatic situations,” and stated, “there isn’t a worthwhile performance in the entire cast.”
       The film print for The Lottery Bride 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-World
8 Mar 1930
p. 57.
Film Daily
25 Oct 1929
p. 1, 11.
Film Daily
27 Oct 1929
p. 1, 16.
Film Daily
19 Nov 1929
p. 10.
Film Daily
6 Feb 1930
p. 11.
Film Daily
20 Feb 1930
p. 4.
Film Daily
5 Mar 1930
p. 7.
Film Daily
13 Apr 1930
p. 1.
Film Daily
25 Apr 1930
p. 12.
Film Daily
8 May 1930
p. 2.
Film Daily
31 Aug 1930
p. 10.
Harrison's Reports
27 Sep 1930
p. 158.
Harrison's Reports
6 Dec 1930
p. 195.
Hollywood Filmograph
15 Feb 1930
p. 22.
Hollywood Filmograph
1 Mar 1930
p. 11.
Hollywood Filmograph
29 Mar 1930
p. 8.
Hollywood Filmograph
5 Apr 1930
p. 21.
Motion Picture News
26 Oct 1929
p. 18.
Motion Picture News
28 Dec 1929
p. 16.
Motion Picture News
14 Jun 1930
p. 68.
Motion Picture News
13 Sep 1930
p. 40.
New York Times
29 Nov 1930
p. 21.
Variety
11 Dec 1929
p. 63.
Variety
29 Jan 1930
p. 11.
Variety
5 Feb 1930
p. 51.
Variety
5 Mar 1930
p. 35.
Variety
30 Jul 1930
p. 35.
Variety
3 Dec 1930
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Settings
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Music arr
SOUND
Rec eng
Rec eng
SOURCES
SONGS
"You're an Angel," "Yubla," "I'll Follow the Trail" and "My Northern Light," words by J. Keirn Brennan, music by Rudolf Friml
"High and Low," words and music by Desmond Carter, Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Bride 66
Lottery Bride
Release Date:
25 October 1930
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening at the United Artists Theatre: 25 October 1930
New York opening at the Rialto Theatre: 28 November 1930
Production Date:
began late-April 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Joseph M. Schenck
Copyright Date:
1 October 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1639
Physical Properties:
Sound
Movietone
Black & white with color sequences
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,472
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

On a spring evening in Norway, cafe owner Hilda, attempting to revive her business, has booked an American jazz orchestra led by Hoke Curtis, who has arranged a marathon dance contest. Jennie, whose brother Nels is in trouble for gambling with bank funds, enters the contest with her brother so as to cover the shortage, though against the wishes of her sweetheart, Chris. After 84 hours, she is near hysteria and exhaustion when the police arrive in search of Nels, prompted by Alberto, an Italian aviator who seeks Jennie's favor. She helps him escape and is imprisoned for aiding him, and Chris, misunderstanding, leaves for a mining camp. After being released, Jennie offers herself as a lottery bride. Her ticket is purchased by Chris, but he gives it to Olaf, his older brother. She takes up residence with them, pending marriage, and Chris goes with Alberto on a dirigible expedition to the Arctic Circle. The dirigible is wrecked by a storm, but Jennie organizes a rescue party, and, with the misunderstanding cleared up, Jennie and Chris are ... +


On a spring evening in Norway, cafe owner Hilda, attempting to revive her business, has booked an American jazz orchestra led by Hoke Curtis, who has arranged a marathon dance contest. Jennie, whose brother Nels is in trouble for gambling with bank funds, enters the contest with her brother so as to cover the shortage, though against the wishes of her sweetheart, Chris. After 84 hours, she is near hysteria and exhaustion when the police arrive in search of Nels, prompted by Alberto, an Italian aviator who seeks Jennie's favor. She helps him escape and is imprisoned for aiding him, and Chris, misunderstanding, leaves for a mining camp. After being released, Jennie offers herself as a lottery bride. Her ticket is purchased by Chris, but he gives it to Olaf, his older brother. She takes up residence with them, pending marriage, and Chris goes with Alberto on a dirigible expedition to the Arctic Circle. The dirigible is wrecked by a storm, but Jennie organizes a rescue party, and, with the misunderstanding cleared up, Jennie and Chris are reunited. +

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.