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HISTORY

The 29 Aug 1925 Motion Picture News announced that short story writer Fannie Hurst had won $50,000 from a short story-scenario writing contest in Liberty Magazine, sonsored in collaboration with Famous Players-Lasky Corp. Hurst’s plot synopsis, entitled “The Moving Finger,” was selected from among 100,000 entrants. She was reportedly awarded $25,000 up front, and would receive the remainder of the prize money after writing the completed story, to be published as a serial in the magazine, and for finishing the screenplay. Hurst’s story was later published as a novel titled Mannequin in 1926.
       According to the 29 Aug 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review, Famous Players-Lasky was putting Hurst’s story into immediate production as a Paramount Pictures Corp. release under the original title, The Moving Finger, directed by James Cruze. Hurst had been at the Famous Players-Lasky Studios in Hollywood, CA, for several weeks assisting Walter Woods in adapting the screenplay.
       Reporting a title change to Mannequin, the 18 Sep 1925 FD announced the casting of lead actress Alice Joyce. Five days later, the 23 Sep 1925 FD referred to the picture as The Mannequin, and indicated that principal photography would begin that week. However, the 3 Oct 1925 Motion Picture News announced that production would start that week. The 4 Oct 1925 FD confirmed that ZaSu Pitts had begun work on Mannequin. According to the 4 Nov 1925 Var, Pitts was on loan from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
       The world premiere of Mannequin was held the week of 21 Dec 1925 at the Grenada Theatre ...

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The 29 Aug 1925 Motion Picture News announced that short story writer Fannie Hurst had won $50,000 from a short story-scenario writing contest in Liberty Magazine, sonsored in collaboration with Famous Players-Lasky Corp. Hurst’s plot synopsis, entitled “The Moving Finger,” was selected from among 100,000 entrants. She was reportedly awarded $25,000 up front, and would receive the remainder of the prize money after writing the completed story, to be published as a serial in the magazine, and for finishing the screenplay. Hurst’s story was later published as a novel titled Mannequin in 1926.
       According to the 29 Aug 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review, Famous Players-Lasky was putting Hurst’s story into immediate production as a Paramount Pictures Corp. release under the original title, The Moving Finger, directed by James Cruze. Hurst had been at the Famous Players-Lasky Studios in Hollywood, CA, for several weeks assisting Walter Woods in adapting the screenplay.
       Reporting a title change to Mannequin, the 18 Sep 1925 FD announced the casting of lead actress Alice Joyce. Five days later, the 23 Sep 1925 FD referred to the picture as The Mannequin, and indicated that principal photography would begin that week. However, the 3 Oct 1925 Motion Picture News announced that production would start that week. The 4 Oct 1925 FD confirmed that ZaSu Pitts had begun work on Mannequin. According to the 4 Nov 1925 Var, Pitts was on loan from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
       The world premiere of Mannequin was held the week of 21 Dec 1925 at the Grenada Theatre in San Francisco, CA, according to the 9 Jan 1926 Moving Picture World. The picture opened on 10 Jan 1926 at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City, as indicated in the 13 Jan 1926 Var review.        Reviews were mixed. Var criticized the story as “old stuff,” but praised James Cruze’s direction. The performances of Dolores Costello, Alice Joyce, Warner Baxter were also lauded, with ZaSu Pitts noted as the standout.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
29 Aug 1925
p. 14
Exhibitors Trade Review
16 Jan 1926
p. 22
Film Daily
18 Sep 1925
p. 9
Film Daily
23 Sep 1925
p. 10
Film Daily
4 Oct 1925
p. 10
Film Daily
25 Oct 1926
p. 16
Film Daily
17 Jan 1926
p. 7
Motion Picture News
29 Aug 1925
p. 1027
Motion Picture News
3 Oct 1925
p. 1588
Moving Picture World
9 Jan 1926
p. 134
New York Times
12 Jan 1926
p. 27
Variety
4 Nov 1925
p. 41
Variety
13 Jan 1926
p. 40
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Mannequin by Fannie Hurst (New York, 1926).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Mannequin
The Moving Finger
Release Date:
10 January 1926
Premiere Information:
World premiere in San Francisco at the Grenada Theatre: week of 21 Dec 1925; New York opening at the Rivoli Theatre: 10 Jan 1926
Production Date:
began late-Sep or early-Oct 1925
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
11 January 1926
LP22252
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,981
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Annie Pogani, a dull-witted nursemaid who loves children, steals a baby girl from Selene Herrick, a wealthy woman who cares more for auctions than for family life. The girl, known as Orchid, is reared by Annie in an East Side tenement; when Annie dies, Orchid finds work as a model in a fashionable shop, where she meets Martin Innesbrook, a reporter who is making his reputation by writing editorials against the practice of acquitting female criminals just because they are women. During a fight with Terry Allen, a low fellow more used to taking than to asking, Terry is inadvertently impaled on Orchid's brooch. She is brought to trial for murder and, after a difficult trial, found innocent. Her true identity is finally discovered, and she is reunited with her father, who was the judge at her trial. She and Martin look forward to walking the road of life ...

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Annie Pogani, a dull-witted nursemaid who loves children, steals a baby girl from Selene Herrick, a wealthy woman who cares more for auctions than for family life. The girl, known as Orchid, is reared by Annie in an East Side tenement; when Annie dies, Orchid finds work as a model in a fashionable shop, where she meets Martin Innesbrook, a reporter who is making his reputation by writing editorials against the practice of acquitting female criminals just because they are women. During a fight with Terry Allen, a low fellow more used to taking than to asking, Terry is inadvertently impaled on Orchid's brooch. She is brought to trial for murder and, after a difficult trial, found innocent. Her true identity is finally discovered, and she is reunited with her father, who was the judge at her trial. She and Martin look forward to walking the road of life together.

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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.