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HISTORY

The scenario was based on the 1914 play, Twin Beds by Margaret Mayo and Edward Salisbury Field. News items in the 10 February 1929 Film Daily and the 20 February 1929 Variety announced the acquisition of motion picture rights by First National Pictures, Inc., which planned to adapt the play as a “talker.”
       A chart in the 30 March 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World stated that principal photography began on 12 March 1929 at First National Studios in Burbank, CA. The film marked actor Jack Mulhall’s first speaking screen role, and what the June 1929 Screenland described as his first “individual starring vehicle.” That same issue also noted that leading lady Patsy Ruth Miller wore fewer and fewer clothes as filming progressed, starting with an “ensemble,” followed by a lace gown, a sheer negligee over a “teddie,” and a nightgown. The writer predicted that Miller would be practically nude by the end of shooting.
       Also joining the cast were Ethel Gray Terry (1 April 1929 Film Daily), Dorothy Gowan (15 April 1929 Film Daily), and James Ford (22 June 1929 Hollywood Filmograph). Although the 27 March 1929 Variety claimed that co-star Alice Lake was “returning” to the screen for her first talking feature, she had worked steadily throughout the decade. That same issue described furnishings on the set as being rather small, said to be an industry standard at the time. The titular twin beds sat only eighteen inches above the floor at their highest point, while chairs and other seating were ...

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The scenario was based on the 1914 play, Twin Beds by Margaret Mayo and Edward Salisbury Field. News items in the 10 February 1929 Film Daily and the 20 February 1929 Variety announced the acquisition of motion picture rights by First National Pictures, Inc., which planned to adapt the play as a “talker.”
       A chart in the 30 March 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World stated that principal photography began on 12 March 1929 at First National Studios in Burbank, CA. The film marked actor Jack Mulhall’s first speaking screen role, and what the June 1929 Screenland described as his first “individual starring vehicle.” That same issue also noted that leading lady Patsy Ruth Miller wore fewer and fewer clothes as filming progressed, starting with an “ensemble,” followed by a lace gown, a sheer negligee over a “teddie,” and a nightgown. The writer predicted that Miller would be practically nude by the end of shooting.
       Also joining the cast were Ethel Gray Terry (1 April 1929 Film Daily), Dorothy Gowan (15 April 1929 Film Daily), and James Ford (22 June 1929 Hollywood Filmograph). Although the 27 March 1929 Variety claimed that co-star Alice Lake was “returning” to the screen for her first talking feature, she had worked steadily throughout the decade. That same issue described furnishings on the set as being rather small, said to be an industry standard at the time. The titular twin beds sat only eighteen inches above the floor at their highest point, while chairs and other seating were only twelve inches above the floor. Contemporary actresses, many of whom were diminutive or slightly built, complained that these settings exaggerated their size on screen.
       Following the close of production, the 11 May 1929 Motion Picture News reported that director Alfred Santell had shot the film in such a way that both the silent and sound versions contained the same number of scenes and could be easily understood without intertitles or dialogue. In addition, the Vitaphone soundtrack discs could be played separately from the film and still tell the complete story.
       Although the 21 March 1929 Film Daily stated that songwriters Alfred Bryan and George W. Meyer composed a theme song named after the picture, the 15 July 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World listed their only contributions as "If You Were Mine," "The Chicken Walk," and "My Wee Bonnie Jean." The 28 June 1929 Film Mercury credited Paul Perez with writing intertitles for the silent version.
       Twin Beds was released on 14 July 1929, followed by a New York City opening that same month at the Strand Theatre, and by a Los Angeles, CA, opening on 3 August 1929 at Loew’s State Theatre. The 27 July 1929 Motion Picture News noted that the Strand engagement earned approximately $23,000, the lowest recorded on Broadway that week. An article in the June 1929 Picture Play complained about Santell’s numerous revisions to the original play.
       The 6 July 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World stated that the film’s promotional trailer featured Patsy Ruth Miller and co-star ZaSu Pitts in “novel bedroom scene.”
       This was the second screen version of the popular stage comedy. The first was produced in 1920 by Carter De Haven Productions (see entry), and the third in 1941 by Edward Small Productions, Inc. (1942, see entry).
       As of August 2021, the picture’s survival cannot be determined from available sources. However, the UCLA Film and Television Archive has acquired the complete set of the accompanying Vitaphone discs.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Broadway and Hollywood Movies
6 Oct 1930
p. 30
Exhibitors Herald-World
30 Mar 1929
p. 48
Exhibitors Herald-World
6 Jul 1929
p. 114
Exhibitors Herald-World
15 Jul 1929
p. 54
Exhibitors Herald-World
20 Jul 1929
p. 107
Film Daily
10 Feb 1929
p. 6
Film Daily
21 Mar 1929
p. 4
Film Daily
1 Apr 1929
p. 6
Film Daily
15 Apr 1929
p. 4
Film Daily
21 Jul 1929
---
Film Mercury
28 Jun 1929
p. 2, 8
Harrison's Reports
20 Jul 1929
p. 114
Hollywood Filmograph
22 Jun 1929
---
Hollywood Filmograph
3 Aug 1929
p. 4
Motion Picture News
11 May 1929
p. 1648
Motion Picture News
20 Jul 1929
p. 294
Motion Picture News
27 Jul 1929
p. 346
Motion Picture News
10 Aug 1929
p. 627
New York Times
15 Jul 1929
p. 25
Picture Play
Jun 1929
p. 26
Screenland
Jun 1929
p. 83, 91
Variety
20 Feb 1929
p. 59
Variety
27 Mar 1929
p. 4, 50
Variety
15 May 1929
p. 64
Variety
17 Jul 1929
p. 42
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Richard A. Rowland
Pres
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play, Twin Beds by Margaret Mayo and Edward Salisbury Field (New York, 14 Aug 1914).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
SONGS
"If You Were Mine," "The Chicken Walk," and "My Wee Bonnie Jean" written by Alfred Bryan and George W. Meyer.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 July 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening: Jul 1929
Production Date:
began 12 Mar 1929
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
First National Pictures, Inc.
23 September 1929
LP715
Physical Properties:
Sound
Vitaphone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si, 4 Aug 1929; 5,902 ft.
Length(in feet):
7,266
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Telephone operator Elsie Dolan marries Danny Brown, a "show doctor" and songwriter, but their first night together is interrupted when Danny is summoned to the theater to rehearse an understudy for Monty Solari, the show's intoxicated star. Later that night, Monty, who lives in the same building, wanders drunkenly into the Browns’ apartment, dons Danny's pajamas and climbs into his twin bed. Danny returns home to find another man in his bedroom, but the misunderstanding is ultimately explained, and the Browns spend the rest of their honeymoon in ...

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Telephone operator Elsie Dolan marries Danny Brown, a "show doctor" and songwriter, but their first night together is interrupted when Danny is summoned to the theater to rehearse an understudy for Monty Solari, the show's intoxicated star. Later that night, Monty, who lives in the same building, wanders drunkenly into the Browns’ apartment, dons Danny's pajamas and climbs into his twin bed. Danny returns home to find another man in his bedroom, but the misunderstanding is ultimately explained, and the Browns spend the rest of their honeymoon in Europe.

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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.