The Squall (1929)

104 mins | Melodrama | 26 May 1929

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HISTORY

The film was based on the 1926 play, The Squall by Jean Bart. An item in the 28 January 1928 Motion Picture News reported the purchase of screen rights by First National Pictures. According to a studio production chart in the 2 February 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, production began on 4 January 1929.
       Nearly six months later, the 17 June 1928 and 19 June 1928 editions of Film Daily stated that the upcoming production was to be an all-talking “Firnatone” feature, with Wid Gunning as production manager and continuity by Lajos Biro. Firnatone was a synchronized disc recording device, similar to the Vitaphone system developed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which acquired a controlling interest in First National during September 1928.
       On 26 November 1928, Exhibitors Daily Review reported that writer Bradley King had replaced Lajos Biro. The 4 January 1929 and 10 January 1929 issues of Film Daily noted the impending start of principal photography using the Vitaphone system; King had since completed her adaptation. Marcia Harris was listed as a cast member in the 23 January 1929 Film Daily.
       Production was underway by 17 February 1929, as stated in that day’s edition of the Washington Post. Its completion was reported in the 30 April 1929 Film Daily. The 20 July 1929 Hollywood Filmograph revealed that star Myrna Loy was asked to sing the picture’s theme song, “Gypsy Charmer,” on screen after coworkers heard her humming it.
       The Squall was released on 26 May 1929, preceded by ...

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The film was based on the 1926 play, The Squall by Jean Bart. An item in the 28 January 1928 Motion Picture News reported the purchase of screen rights by First National Pictures. According to a studio production chart in the 2 February 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World, production began on 4 January 1929.
       Nearly six months later, the 17 June 1928 and 19 June 1928 editions of Film Daily stated that the upcoming production was to be an all-talking “Firnatone” feature, with Wid Gunning as production manager and continuity by Lajos Biro. Firnatone was a synchronized disc recording device, similar to the Vitaphone system developed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which acquired a controlling interest in First National during September 1928.
       On 26 November 1928, Exhibitors Daily Review reported that writer Bradley King had replaced Lajos Biro. The 4 January 1929 and 10 January 1929 issues of Film Daily noted the impending start of principal photography using the Vitaphone system; King had since completed her adaptation. Marcia Harris was listed as a cast member in the 23 January 1929 Film Daily.
       Production was underway by 17 February 1929, as stated in that day’s edition of the Washington Post. Its completion was reported in the 30 April 1929 Film Daily. The 20 July 1929 Hollywood Filmograph revealed that star Myrna Loy was asked to sing the picture’s theme song, “Gypsy Charmer,” on screen after coworkers heard her humming it.
       The Squall was released on 26 May 1929, preceded by a 9 May 1929 opening at the Central Theatre in New York City. The 13 July 1929 Motion Picture News indicated that the feature ran thirty-seven days and earned a total of $53,112.50. A silent version was released on 23 June 1929.
              According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Bakersfield Californian [Bakersfield, CA]
27 Jul 1929
p. 7
Exhibitors Daily Review
10 Jul 1928
p. 4
Exhibitors Daily Review
26 Nov 1928
p. 7
Exhibitors Herald-World
2 Feb 1929
p. 47
Exhibitors Herald-World
18 May 1929
p. 58
Film Daily
17 Jun 1928
p. 7
Film Daily
19 Jun 1928
p. 11
Film Daily
4 Jan 1929
p. 12
Film Daily
10 Jan 1929
p. 4
Film Daily
25 Jan 1929
p. 6
Film Daily
30 Apr 1929
p. 3
Film Daily
5 May 1929
p. 2
Film Daily
12 May 1929
p. 9
Film Daily
13 May 1929
p. 2
Harrison's Reports
18 May 1929
p. 78
Harrison's Reports
6 Jul 1929
---
Hollywood Filmograph
20 Jul 1929
p. 32
Motion Picture News
28 Jan 1928
p. 271
Motion Picture News
13 Jul 1929
p. 189
New York Times
10 May 1929
p. 32
Variety
15 May 1929
p. 20
Washington Post [Washington, DC]
17 Feb 1929
Section A, p. 2
Washington Post [Washington, DC]
23 Jun 1929
Section A, p. 2
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Richard A. Rowland
Pres
WRITERS
Titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
John Seitz
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Leo Forbstein
Mus synchronization & score
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play, The Squall by Jean Bart (New York, 11 Nov 1926).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Gypsy Charmer," words by Grant Clarke, music by Harry Akst.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 May 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 9 May 1929
Production Date:
4 January--April 1929
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
First National Pictures, Inc.
10 June 1929
LP445
Physical Properties:
Sound
Vitaphone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si, 23 Jun; 7,085 ft.
Duration(in mins):
104
Length(in feet):
9,456
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

The serene love of Hungarian farmer Josef Lajos and his wife, Maria, the youthful romance of their son, Paul, with Irma, and the betrothal of their servants, Peter and Lena, are suddenly interrupted by a "squall" and the arrival of a gypsy camp. The squall is in the person of Nubi, an exotic, amoral beauty who finds sanctuary with the Lajos family under the pretense that she is escaping the gypsies, who kidnapped her as a child. Peter is the first to succumb to her charms, recklessly spending hours in the field with her and stealing money to buy her trinkets. Nubi ultimately has him fired by claiming that he forced himself on her. She then turns to Paul, a college student, who loses interest in his studies and in Irma. Finally, Josef submits to her charms. When a veritable storm threatens, a gypsy named El Moro enters the house, declaring that he has been married to Nubi for four years and that she is the daughter of a chieftain. He goes on to reveal that she has perpetrated the same ruse with other families. As Nubi and her mocking laughter subside, the sun breaks through the clouds and all is serene ...

More Less

The serene love of Hungarian farmer Josef Lajos and his wife, Maria, the youthful romance of their son, Paul, with Irma, and the betrothal of their servants, Peter and Lena, are suddenly interrupted by a "squall" and the arrival of a gypsy camp. The squall is in the person of Nubi, an exotic, amoral beauty who finds sanctuary with the Lajos family under the pretense that she is escaping the gypsies, who kidnapped her as a child. Peter is the first to succumb to her charms, recklessly spending hours in the field with her and stealing money to buy her trinkets. Nubi ultimately has him fired by claiming that he forced himself on her. She then turns to Paul, a college student, who loses interest in his studies and in Irma. Finally, Josef submits to her charms. When a veritable storm threatens, a gypsy named El Moro enters the house, declaring that he has been married to Nubi for four years and that she is the daughter of a chieftain. He goes on to reveal that she has perpetrated the same ruse with other families. As Nubi and her mocking laughter subside, the sun breaks through the clouds and all is serene again.

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

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