The Whole Town's Talking (1926)

Comedy | 14 August 1926

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HISTORY

This film was based on the play of the same name written by Anita Loos and John Emerson. The 3 November 1928 Variety stated that Loos and Emerson, who were married, had “picked up” the play during a trip abroad and adapted it, although the underlying material was not named. While the screen version was underway, a musical comedy adaptation of the play titled Pair o’ Fools was scheduled for a West Coast stage debut, starring vaudevillians Clarence Kolb and Max Dill, according to a 10 January 1926 New York Times item.
       Universal Pictures Corp.’s purchase of screen rights was announced in the 15 March 1925 Film Daily. Reginald Denny was initially cast, and Harry Pollard was hired to direct, as reported in the 4 April 1925 Motion Picture News, which also cited a planned release date of 24 May 1925. A Universal advertisement in the 9 May 1925 Moving Picture World listed The Whole Town’s Talking as one of founder Carl Laemmle’s “White List” pictures, for which the studio guaranteed “white contracts” and “white treatment.” At the time, “white” was synonymous with “fair.” Production was delayed, however, and the 2 January 1926 Motion Picture News claimed the title was now on the studio’s “Golden Rule List.”
       Leete Renick Brown wrote continuity for the picture, according to a 13 September 1925 Los Angeles Times brief. The 22 January 1926 issue later reported that Raymond Cannon was the scenarist and made no mention of Brown. Edward Laemmle was brought on to direct, and principal photography ...

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This film was based on the play of the same name written by Anita Loos and John Emerson. The 3 November 1928 Variety stated that Loos and Emerson, who were married, had “picked up” the play during a trip abroad and adapted it, although the underlying material was not named. While the screen version was underway, a musical comedy adaptation of the play titled Pair o’ Fools was scheduled for a West Coast stage debut, starring vaudevillians Clarence Kolb and Max Dill, according to a 10 January 1926 New York Times item.
       Universal Pictures Corp.’s purchase of screen rights was announced in the 15 March 1925 Film Daily. Reginald Denny was initially cast, and Harry Pollard was hired to direct, as reported in the 4 April 1925 Motion Picture News, which also cited a planned release date of 24 May 1925. A Universal advertisement in the 9 May 1925 Moving Picture World listed The Whole Town’s Talking as one of founder Carl Laemmle’s “White List” pictures, for which the studio guaranteed “white contracts” and “white treatment.” At the time, “white” was synonymous with “fair.” Production was delayed, however, and the 2 January 1926 Motion Picture News claimed the title was now on the studio’s “Golden Rule List.”
       Leete Renick Brown wrote continuity for the picture, according to a 13 September 1925 Los Angeles Times brief. The 22 January 1926 issue later reported that Raymond Cannon was the scenarist and made no mention of Brown. Edward Laemmle was brought on to direct, and principal photography began the first week of February 1926, as noted in the 10 February 1926 Variety. On 4 March 1926, Los Angeles Times announced that cast member Robert Ober had finished his work on the picture, and the 20 March 1926 Motion Picture News indicated that filming had concluded at Universal City, CA, and cutting was now underway.
       An article in the 27 February 1926 Exhibitors Review indicated that a December 1926 release was planned. However, the film had a preview screening sometime in early May 1926, according to the 16 May 1926 Los Angeles Times, and it was scheduled to open in Brooklyn, NY, on 16 August 1926, as noted in the 15 August 1926 Brooklyn Daily Eagle. An early review in the 12 June 1926 Los Angeles Evening Post-Record claimed that this marked Edward Laemmle’s debut as a “farce-comedy director,” and observed that fifteen-year-old Virginia Lee Corbin was too young to carry the role of “Ethel Simmons.”
       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
Brooklyn Daily Eagle [Brooklyn, NY]
15 Aug 1926
p. 59
Exhibitors Review
27 Feb 1926
p. 6
Film Daily
15 Mar 1925
p. 6
Film Daily
12 Sep 1926
---
Los Angeles Evening Post-Record
12 Jun 1926
p. 7
Los Angeles Times
13 Sep 1925
Section D, p. 11
Los Angeles Times
22 Jan 1926
Section A, p. 9
Los Angeles Times
4 Mar 1926
Section A, p. 9
Los Angeles Times
16 May 1926
Section C, p. 23
Motion Picture News
6 Jun 1925
p. 2780
Motion Picture News
2 Jan 1926
p. 44
Motion Picture News
20 Mar 1926
p. 1291
Moving Picture World
4 Apr 1925
p. 488
Moving Picture World
25 Apr 1925
p. 766
Moving Picture World
9 May 1925
p. 118
Moving Picture World
15 Aug 1925
p. 753
New York Times
1 Aug 1925
p. 9
New York Times
10 Jan 1926
---
Variety
3 Nov 1922
p. 12
Variety
6 Sep 1923
p. 12
Variety
10 Feb 1926
p. 31
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Universal-Jewel
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Whole Town's Talking by Anita Loos and John Emerson (New York, 29 Aug 1923).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 August 1926
Premiere Information:
Brooklyn, NY, opening: 16 Aug 1926
Production Date:
early Feb--early or mid Mar 1926
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Corp.
21 July 1926
LP22943
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,662
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Chester Binney, a wounded war veteran, erroneously believes he is carrying a silver plate in his head and must avoid all excitement. He returns to his hometown, and there his former employer, George Simmons, attempts to arrange a match between Chester (who is to inherit a fortune) and his daughter Ethel. Ethel, however, finds Chester unexciting as a lover; and to enliven the affair, the father invents a lurid past for the boy by displaying a signed photograph of Rita Renault, a famous movie star. Rita, accompanied by her jealous husband, Jack Shields, arrives in the town for a personal appearance. By chance, Jack discovers the photograph of Rita, presumably the property of Chester, and when he sees his wife kissing Chester, a running fight ensues. When Chester discovers he is not ill, he knocks out both Shields and Mont-Allen, another suitor of Ethel's; and he thus wins ...

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Chester Binney, a wounded war veteran, erroneously believes he is carrying a silver plate in his head and must avoid all excitement. He returns to his hometown, and there his former employer, George Simmons, attempts to arrange a match between Chester (who is to inherit a fortune) and his daughter Ethel. Ethel, however, finds Chester unexciting as a lover; and to enliven the affair, the father invents a lurid past for the boy by displaying a signed photograph of Rita Renault, a famous movie star. Rita, accompanied by her jealous husband, Jack Shields, arrives in the town for a personal appearance. By chance, Jack discovers the photograph of Rita, presumably the property of Chester, and when he sees his wife kissing Chester, a running fight ensues. When Chester discovers he is not ill, he knocks out both Shields and Mont-Allen, another suitor of Ethel's; and he thus wins Ethel.

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

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