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HISTORY

The scenario was based on the 1914 novel, A Wise Son by Charles Sherman. Plans for a screen version from producer Max Graf were announced in the 9 February 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review. The working title was taken from the novel, although some sources referred to the film as The Wise Son. That same month, American Cinematographer reported that cameraman H. Lyman Broening was traveling to San Mateo, CA, to begin principal photography. The 17 May 1924 Exhibitors Herald noted that lead actress Estelle Taylor was loaned to Graf by Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
       On 26 March 1924, Variety reported that Graf and director Phil Rosen employed the help of San Francisco, CA, judge Sylvain J. Lazarus in acquiring homeless men from the local jails for a particular scene. Police Captain Charles Goff was then assigned to arrest the required number of men, who were offered a choice of remaining in jail or earning three dollars per day as background actors. Early the next morning, a fleet of patrol wagons was dispatched to the Calvary Rescue Mission, where eighty-two men were arrested for vagrancy, many of whom were to begin new jobs that day. Graf and Rosen selected twenty-five from the group, while the remaining fifty-seven protested being cheated out of a day’s work. The next evening, police were called a second time as a street-fight scene near the waterfront turned into an actual riot. A photograph caption in the 5 July 1924 Exhibitors Herald revealed that at least one sequence was shot on the Elia, ...

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The scenario was based on the 1914 novel, A Wise Son by Charles Sherman. Plans for a screen version from producer Max Graf were announced in the 9 February 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review. The working title was taken from the novel, although some sources referred to the film as The Wise Son. That same month, American Cinematographer reported that cameraman H. Lyman Broening was traveling to San Mateo, CA, to begin principal photography. The 17 May 1924 Exhibitors Herald noted that lead actress Estelle Taylor was loaned to Graf by Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
       On 26 March 1924, Variety reported that Graf and director Phil Rosen employed the help of San Francisco, CA, judge Sylvain J. Lazarus in acquiring homeless men from the local jails for a particular scene. Police Captain Charles Goff was then assigned to arrest the required number of men, who were offered a choice of remaining in jail or earning three dollars per day as background actors. Early the next morning, a fleet of patrol wagons was dispatched to the Calvary Rescue Mission, where eighty-two men were arrested for vagrancy, many of whom were to begin new jobs that day. Graf and Rosen selected twenty-five from the group, while the remaining fifty-seven protested being cheated out of a day’s work. The next evening, police were called a second time as a street-fight scene near the waterfront turned into an actual riot. A photograph caption in the 5 July 1924 Exhibitors Herald revealed that at least one sequence was shot on the Elia, a yacht owned by business tycoon George Whittel. Graf posed for the photograph with Whittel’s wife, for whom the vessel was named.
       The 18 June 1924 Variety stated that Graf had recently arrived in New York City with a completed print of the film. Exhibitors Herald noted that Graf was holding invitational preview screenings for people randomly chosen from telephone directories. Each had received a postcard directly from the producer.
       Later that summer, the 20 August 1924 Variety reported that the producer was charged with embezzlement by his board of directors, which included Albert Casper, Harry Lapidaire, J. H. Walraven, George Newman, and Leon Rey. The board accused Graf of using company funds to purchase furs for his wife and a background actress named Leonore Casanova. Graf denied the charges, claiming that the board threatened him with a fifty-year prison term unless he canceled his contract and relinquished his company stock, valued at $100,000. Although the prosecution argued that Graf was charging the furs to Estelle Taylor, she promised to testify on the producer’s behalf. Meanwhile, Leonore Casanova insisted that she was nothing less than a featured player, earning a salary of $200 per week.
       Nearly eight months later, the 11 April 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review announced that the picture had been acquired by the Henry Ginsberg Distributing Corp. Banner Productions was credited with making the film, which had been re-titled Wandering Footsteps. The 21 November 1925 Exhibitors Herald reported that Universal Pictures Corp. was handling distribution of the Banner catalog in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.
       The film was released on 15 October 1925, followed by a 23 October 1925 showing at Loew’s New York Theatre in New York City.
       According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Feb 1924
p. 26
American Cinematographer
Mar 1924
p. 25
Exhibitors Herald
17 May 1924
p. 37
Exhibitors Herald
5 Jul 1924
p. 32, 50
Exhibitors Herald
21 Nov 1925
p. 33
Exhibitors Trade Review
9 Feb 1924
p. 12
Exhibitors Trade Review
13 Sep 1924
p. 27
Exhibitors Trade Review
11 Apr 1925
p. 31
Exhibitors Trade Review
21 Nov 1925
p. 28
Film Daily
15 Nov 1925
p. 10
Film Daily Year Book
1925
p. 455
Motion Picture News
8 Mar 1924
p. 1082
Motion Picture News
19 Sep 1925
p. 1356
Motion Picture News
21 Nov 1925
p. 2465
MPN Booking Guide
8 May 1926
p. 48
Variety
26 Mar 1924
p. 18
Variety
18 Jun 1924
p. 22
Variety
9 Jul 1924
p. 22
Variety
20 Aug 1924
p. 20
Variety
28 Oct 1925
p. 32, 37
Variety
16 Jun 1926
p. 16
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
SET DECORATOR
Settings
MUSIC
Descriptive filmusic guide
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel, A Wise Son by Charles Sherman (Indianapolis, 1914).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A Wise Son
The Wise Son
Release Date:
15 October 1925
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 Oct 1925
Production Date:
began Feb 1924
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Banner Productions, Inc.
19 October 1925
LP21922
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
5,060
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Hal Whitney, an irresponsible young millionaire, befriends Timothy Payne, a wise old college professor whose life had been ruined by alcohol. After “adopting” Timothy as his father, Hal introduces him to his sweetheart, Helen Maynard. The outraged Helen breaks their engagement, certain that Timothy will be a bad influence on her hard-drinking fiancé. However, both men assist in each other’s reformation, and Hal is soon reunited with Helen, while Timothy marries Hal’s mother, Elizabeth, whom he had loved in his youth. ...

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Hal Whitney, an irresponsible young millionaire, befriends Timothy Payne, a wise old college professor whose life had been ruined by alcohol. After “adopting” Timothy as his father, Hal introduces him to his sweetheart, Helen Maynard. The outraged Helen breaks their engagement, certain that Timothy will be a bad influence on her hard-drinking fiancé. However, both men assist in each other’s reformation, and Hal is soon reunited with Helen, while Timothy marries Hal’s mother, Elizabeth, whom he had loved in his youth.

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GENRE
Genre:


Subject

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.