Blind Alleys (1927)

68 mins | Melodrama | 12 March 1927

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HISTORY

According to the 12 Jan 1927 Var, opera star Mary Ellis was considered for the female lead, but she rejected the offer after reading the screenplay. The role ultimately went to actress Greta Nissen, a blond-haired Swede who wore a dark-haired wig to match her character’s Cuban heritage. The 21 Jan 1927 Motion Picture News reported that production was underway at Famous Players-Lasky Studios in Astoria, Queens, NY. As stated in the 31 Mar 1927 Hollywood Vagabond, the cast included Donald Davis, the son of Owen Davis, who wrote the original story for the picture.
       The 28 Jan 1927 Motion Picture News noted that the chauffeur of star Thomas Meighan was given a role in which he was expected to create the illusion of striking his employer with a car. The unidentified chauffeur “tightened his brake-bands for quick stopping,” and practiced on a football tackle dummy from the studio prop department. A related article revealed that filming outdoors during the cold New York City winter caused a considerable buildup of static electricity in the cameras. The problem was solved by aiming Klieg lights at the cameras for thirty minutes, creating sufficient heat to make them operable. Principal photography was completed by 2 Feb 1927, as stated in that day’s Var.
       Blind Alleys made its New York City debut at the Paramount Theatre during the week of 26 Feb 1927, followed by a general release on 12 Mar 1927. Reviews were somewhat disdainful, with both the 2 Mar 1927 Var and May 1927 Photoplay noting ...

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According to the 12 Jan 1927 Var, opera star Mary Ellis was considered for the female lead, but she rejected the offer after reading the screenplay. The role ultimately went to actress Greta Nissen, a blond-haired Swede who wore a dark-haired wig to match her character’s Cuban heritage. The 21 Jan 1927 Motion Picture News reported that production was underway at Famous Players-Lasky Studios in Astoria, Queens, NY. As stated in the 31 Mar 1927 Hollywood Vagabond, the cast included Donald Davis, the son of Owen Davis, who wrote the original story for the picture.
       The 28 Jan 1927 Motion Picture News noted that the chauffeur of star Thomas Meighan was given a role in which he was expected to create the illusion of striking his employer with a car. The unidentified chauffeur “tightened his brake-bands for quick stopping,” and practiced on a football tackle dummy from the studio prop department. A related article revealed that filming outdoors during the cold New York City winter caused a considerable buildup of static electricity in the cameras. The problem was solved by aiming Klieg lights at the cameras for thirty minutes, creating sufficient heat to make them operable. Principal photography was completed by 2 Feb 1927, as stated in that day’s Var.
       Blind Alleys made its New York City debut at the Paramount Theatre during the week of 26 Feb 1927, followed by a general release on 12 Mar 1927. Reviews were somewhat disdainful, with both the 2 Mar 1927 Var and May 1927 Photoplay noting that audiences laughed during the film’s “serious moments.” Regardless, the 9 Mar 1927 Var and 21 Nov 1927 Film Daily reported earnings of $70,000 during the opening week, resulting in a held-over engagement at the Paramount. However, the picture was later rated as a “flop” by the 3 Sep 1927 Film Spectator, which blamed the failure on associate producer William Le Baron.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Educational Screen
May 1927
p. 228
Film Daily
20 Mar 1927
---
Film Daily
21 Nov 1927
p. 4
Film Spectator
3 Sep 1927
p. 15
Hollywood Vagabond
31 Mar 1927
p. 3
Motion Picture
Jun 1927
p. 62
Motion Picture News
21 Jan 1927
p. 223
Motion Picture News
28 Jan 1927
p. 292
Motion Picture News
11 Mar 1927
p. 870, 881
Motion Picture News Booking Guide
Oct 1927
p. 22
Moving Picture World
15 Mar 1927
---
New York Times
1 Mar 1927
p. 31
Photoplay
May 1927
p. 54
Picture-Play
Jun 1927
p. 59, 70-71
Variety
12 Jan 1927
p. 46
Variety
2 Feb 1927
p. 14
Variety
2 Mar 1927
p. 16, 33
Variety
9 Mar 1927
p. 7
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 March 1927
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 26 Feb 1927
Production Date:
ended Jan 1927
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
12 March 1927
LP23760
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
68
Length(in feet):
5,597
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Merchant marine Captain Dan Kirby arrives in New York City with his Cuban bride, María. Leaving his hotel to buy flowers, Dan forgets his billfold but meets Julio Lachados, a former admirer of María's. As Dan crosses the street, he is knocked unconscious by an automobile, and the owner, Dr. Webster, has him taken to a private hospital. Failing to find her husband and learning that an unidentified man has been hospitalized, María becomes innocently involved with two jewel thieves, who kidnap her. Dan, regaining consciousness, leaves the hospital and is nursed by Sally Ray. Freed from her captors, María turns to Julio for help and learns of Dan's relationship with Sally, but Dan perceives Sally's duplicity and is reunited with his ...

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Merchant marine Captain Dan Kirby arrives in New York City with his Cuban bride, María. Leaving his hotel to buy flowers, Dan forgets his billfold but meets Julio Lachados, a former admirer of María's. As Dan crosses the street, he is knocked unconscious by an automobile, and the owner, Dr. Webster, has him taken to a private hospital. Failing to find her husband and learning that an unidentified man has been hospitalized, María becomes innocently involved with two jewel thieves, who kidnap her. Dan, regaining consciousness, leaves the hospital and is nursed by Sally Ray. Freed from her captors, María turns to Julio for help and learns of Dan's relationship with Sally, but Dan perceives Sally's duplicity and is reunited with his bride.

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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.