Wild Oranges (1924)

66 mins | Melodrama | 20 January 1924

Director:

King Vidor

Writer:

King Vidor

Cinematographer:

John W. Boyle

Production Company:

Goldwyn Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The 1 Sep 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that director King Vidor and company had arrived in Jacksonville, FL, to set up a base of operations. Vidor planned to shoot most of the film's sequences in the swamp region near Savannah, GA.
       According to the Nov 1923 Screenland, Vidor took stars James Kirkwood and Virginia Valli into swamps "infested with poisonous snakes, flies, insects--and alligators." Kirkwood does not appear in credits, but Vidor later explained in his 1953 autobiography, A Tree Is a Tree, that Kirkwood was injured well into production and could not finish the film. As a result, Vidor hired Frank Mayo, who resembled Kirkwood, reshot him in Kirkwood's close-ups and medium shots, but left Kirkwood's long shots in the film.
       An item in the 29 Sep 1923 Camera, datelined 26 Sep, mentioned that the company arrived that Thursday morning for a week's stay. “Owing to James Kirkwood’s accident and the recasting of Frank Mayo to take his place, much of the picture will be retaken. The sequences being made in San Francisco are mostly filmed on a yacht, and several days have been spent well out to sea, with some night scenes near the wharf.” The item mentioned that assistant director James S. Dugan and actress June Elvidge were part of the film company. A week later, another item, in the 6 Oct 1923 Camera, noted that King Vidor and his film company had finished shooting sea scenes on a yacht and filmed “a storm at sea off Pier 41,” with a large crowd gathered to watch “the making of the mock storm.” The company then ...

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The 1 Sep 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that director King Vidor and company had arrived in Jacksonville, FL, to set up a base of operations. Vidor planned to shoot most of the film's sequences in the swamp region near Savannah, GA.
       According to the Nov 1923 Screenland, Vidor took stars James Kirkwood and Virginia Valli into swamps "infested with poisonous snakes, flies, insects--and alligators." Kirkwood does not appear in credits, but Vidor later explained in his 1953 autobiography, A Tree Is a Tree, that Kirkwood was injured well into production and could not finish the film. As a result, Vidor hired Frank Mayo, who resembled Kirkwood, reshot him in Kirkwood's close-ups and medium shots, but left Kirkwood's long shots in the film.
       An item in the 29 Sep 1923 Camera, datelined 26 Sep, mentioned that the company arrived that Thursday morning for a week's stay. “Owing to James Kirkwood’s accident and the recasting of Frank Mayo to take his place, much of the picture will be retaken. The sequences being made in San Francisco are mostly filmed on a yacht, and several days have been spent well out to sea, with some night scenes near the wharf.” The item mentioned that assistant director James S. Dugan and actress June Elvidge were part of the film company. A week later, another item, in the 6 Oct 1923 Camera, noted that King Vidor and his film company had finished shooting sea scenes on a yacht and filmed “a storm at sea off Pier 41,” with a large crowd gathered to watch “the making of the mock storm.” The company then left San Francisco to do more location work on the Sacramento River.
       Although Wild Oranges was registered for copyright on 15 Jan 1924, the printed Copyright Catalog erroneously lists the copyright year as 1922. Title cards within the film refer to Virginia Valli's character as "Millie Stope," while some contemporary sources referred to her as "Nellie Stope." The Var review listed a running time of sixty-six minutes, but the print viewed, which was a 2006 restoration broadcast on the Turner Classic Movie network, ran approximately eighty-six minutes. The restored print was accompanied by an original music score by Vivek Maddala.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Camera
29 Sep 1923
p. 6
Camera
6 Oct 1923
p. 6
Exhibitors Trade Review
1 Sep 1923
p. 598
Film Daily
9 Mar 1924
p. 6
Moving Picture World
15 Mar 1924
p. 213
New York Times
3 Mar 1924
p. 22
Screenland
Nov 1923
pp. 75, 83
Variety
5 Mar 1924
p. 23
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
King Vidor's Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
James S. Dugan
Asst dir
WRITERS
Ed dir
Adpt
Titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
COSTUMES
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Wild Oranges by Joseph Hergesheimer (New York, 1919).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 January 1924
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Goldwyn Pictures Corp.
15 January 1924
LP19826
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66
Length(in feet):
6,837
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Despondent and guilt-ridden when his new bride is killed after being thrown from a runaway carriage he is driving, Bostonian John Woolfolk escapes from his grief by living in his sailboat with his cook, Paul Halvard, as his only companion. Three years later, the sight of a dilapidated ante-bellum mansion and the odor of oleander and wild orange trees lure him to an island off the Georgia coast to seek fresh water. There he meets unsophisticated Millie Stope and her fear-crazed grandfather, Litchfield Stope, who are being held in terror by Nicholas, a dim-witted escaped murderer who is the only other inhabitant of the island. Nicholas, who has designs on Millie, tries to frighten the strangers away by destroying a barrel that Paul has brought ashore to replenish the boat's water supply. Later, when John confronts Nicholas, the brute threatens him. Although he has tried to resist his attraction to Millie, John soon finds himself falling in love with her, but fear of another painful relationship causes him to leave the island. The farther he sails from the island, though, the more he thinks of Millie, and he soon turns his boat around. When he is reunited with Millie onshore, he admits his love for her and the two decide to leave the island, along with her grandfather. They then arrange to meet at the island's dock at eight o'clock. That evening, as Millie and Litchfield prepare to leave, Nicholas, who is insanely jealous, begs Millie to marry him and threatens that he will not be responsible for his actions if she does not. Although Millie tries to keep Nicholas out of ...

More Less

Despondent and guilt-ridden when his new bride is killed after being thrown from a runaway carriage he is driving, Bostonian John Woolfolk escapes from his grief by living in his sailboat with his cook, Paul Halvard, as his only companion. Three years later, the sight of a dilapidated ante-bellum mansion and the odor of oleander and wild orange trees lure him to an island off the Georgia coast to seek fresh water. There he meets unsophisticated Millie Stope and her fear-crazed grandfather, Litchfield Stope, who are being held in terror by Nicholas, a dim-witted escaped murderer who is the only other inhabitant of the island. Nicholas, who has designs on Millie, tries to frighten the strangers away by destroying a barrel that Paul has brought ashore to replenish the boat's water supply. Later, when John confronts Nicholas, the brute threatens him. Although he has tried to resist his attraction to Millie, John soon finds himself falling in love with her, but fear of another painful relationship causes him to leave the island. The farther he sails from the island, though, the more he thinks of Millie, and he soon turns his boat around. When he is reunited with Millie onshore, he admits his love for her and the two decide to leave the island, along with her grandfather. They then arrange to meet at the island's dock at eight o'clock. That evening, as Millie and Litchfield prepare to leave, Nicholas, who is insanely jealous, begs Millie to marry him and threatens that he will not be responsible for his actions if she does not. Although Millie tries to keep Nicholas out of the study, where she and her grandfather are hiding, Nicholas breaks through the door and, in a struggle, strikes Litchfield with a club, killing him. Millie tries to keep Nicholas at bay with a revolver, but he knocks it away and overpowers her. Meanwhile, at the dock, John becomes concerned when Millie does not arrive at the agreed upon time and rushes to the mansion to find her. After seeing Litchfield's body, John then goes upstairs, where he discovers that Nicholas has tied Millie to a bed. After a fight, John subdues the madman and escapes with Millie to the yacht. Following them to the water's edge, Nicholas fires Millie’s retrieved revolver at the boat, injuring Paul as he and John prepare to cross the dangerously low channel. Nicholas is finally killed by a fierce dog that has broken its leash and bites into the man's throat. Despite the low tides, John is able to maneuver the boat to safety as Millie takes the wheel. The next morning, as Paul recuperates from his wounds, John and Millie look forward to spending their lives together.

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GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Subject (Minor):
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.