The Cohens and Kellys (1926)

Comedy | 19 February 1926

Director:

Snub Pollard

Writers:

Al Cohn, Snub Pollard

Producer:

E. M. Asher

Cinematographer:

Charles Stumar

Production Designer:

Charles D. Hall

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Production took place at Universal Pictures Corp.’s studio in Universal City, CA, sometime in 1925. An article in the 21 Feb 1926 NYT noted that actress Vera Gordon had convinced director Harry Pollard to add the role of “Mrs. Cohen,” which had not been in the initial script. Following a successful preview screening, Universal chief Carl Laemmle published an open letter to exhibitors in the 25 Nov 1925 Film Daily, asking if the film, currently at nine reels in length, should be pared down for theatrical release. Laemmle claimed, “Harry Pollard the director, George Sidney, Charles Murray and Vera Gordon the featured players and the entire staff, all agree and argue that to cut it would be nothing short of criminal…But I want to please and satisfy you.” The theatrically released version was 7,774 feet, or eight reels, long.
       The Cohens and Kellys was scheduled to open 19 Feb 1926 at San Francisco, CA’s Imperial Theatre, and at Hanover, PA’s Strand Theatre. While the picture enjoyed critical and commercial success, it came under scrutiny for bearing less resemblance to the underlying material, Aaron Hoffman’s 1921 play Two Blocks Away, than to Anne Nichols’s 1922 play, Abie’s Irish Rose. Nichols filed a lawsuit against Universal, Carl Laemmle, and Harry Pollard (Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp.), which sought an injunction against the film and $3 million in damages. Judge Learned Hand ruled in favor of Universal, after finding the similarities between the two properties too vague, as they were based on stock characters and situations.
       Universal released six sequels: The Cohens and Kellys in Paris ...

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Production took place at Universal Pictures Corp.’s studio in Universal City, CA, sometime in 1925. An article in the 21 Feb 1926 NYT noted that actress Vera Gordon had convinced director Harry Pollard to add the role of “Mrs. Cohen,” which had not been in the initial script. Following a successful preview screening, Universal chief Carl Laemmle published an open letter to exhibitors in the 25 Nov 1925 Film Daily, asking if the film, currently at nine reels in length, should be pared down for theatrical release. Laemmle claimed, “Harry Pollard the director, George Sidney, Charles Murray and Vera Gordon the featured players and the entire staff, all agree and argue that to cut it would be nothing short of criminal…But I want to please and satisfy you.” The theatrically released version was 7,774 feet, or eight reels, long.
       The Cohens and Kellys was scheduled to open 19 Feb 1926 at San Francisco, CA’s Imperial Theatre, and at Hanover, PA’s Strand Theatre. While the picture enjoyed critical and commercial success, it came under scrutiny for bearing less resemblance to the underlying material, Aaron Hoffman’s 1921 play Two Blocks Away, than to Anne Nichols’s 1922 play, Abie’s Irish Rose. Nichols filed a lawsuit against Universal, Carl Laemmle, and Harry Pollard (Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp.), which sought an injunction against the film and $3 million in damages. Judge Learned Hand ruled in favor of Universal, after finding the similarities between the two properties too vague, as they were based on stock characters and situations.
       Universal released six sequels: The Cohens and Kellys in Paris (1928); The Cohens and Kellys in Atlantic City (1929); The Cohens and Kellys in Scotland (1930); The Cohens and Kellys in Africa (1931); The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood (1932); and 1933’s The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble (see entries).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Evening Sun [Hanover, PA]
18 Feb 1926
p. 3
Exhibitors Herald
13 Mar 1926
p. 65
Exhibitors Herald
27 Nov 1926
p. 94
Film Daily
25 Nov 1925
p. 4
Film Daily
7 Mar 1926
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Mar 1926
Section A, p. 9
Motion Picture News
6 Mar 1926
p. 1113
Motion Picture News
13 Mar 1926
p. 1198
Motion Picture News
11 Sep 1926
p. 945
Motion Picture News
25 Sep 1926
p. 46
Moving Picture World
6 Mar 1926
---
Moving Picture World
1 May 1926
p. 3
New York Daily News
22 Feb 1926
p. 23
New York Times
21 Feb 1926
---
New York Times
23 Feb 1926
p. 26
New York Times
20 Apr 1926
p. 24
San Francisco Examiner
13 Feb 1926
p. 11
Variety
24 Feb 1926
p. 42
Variety
3 Mar 1926
p. 25
Variety
21 Apr 1926
p. 27
Variety
20 Oct 1926
p. 53
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Universal-Jewel
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
Harry Pollard
Dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Alfred A. Cohn
Scen
Harry Pollard
Adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Two Blocks Away by Aaron Hoffman (New York, 30 Aug 1921).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 February 1926
Premiere Information:
San Francisco, CA, and Hanover, PA, openings: 19 Feb 1928; New York opening: 22 Feb 1926; Los Angeles opening: 12 Mar 1926
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Corp.
13 February 1926
LP22400
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,774
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Jacob Cohen, who owns a dry goods store, and Patrick Kelly, an Irish cop, are constantly at loggerheads, feuding over anything and everything. Kelly's son, Tim, and Cohen's daughter, Nannie, fall in love despite the bickering of their parents; when they cannot get parental consent for their marriage, they secretly wed. Cohen inherits a fortune and moves to the upper East Side, taking Nannie with him. Sometime later, Nannie gives birth to a child; when her parents will not let any of the Kelly clan see the child, Nannie leaves home and goes to live with the Kellys, where Mrs. Cohen soon joins her. Cohen then discovers that Kelly is the rightful heir to the fortune that he himself has inherited and, moved by honesty, he goes to the burly cop and tells him so. The men are reconciled and decide to go into partnership ...

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Jacob Cohen, who owns a dry goods store, and Patrick Kelly, an Irish cop, are constantly at loggerheads, feuding over anything and everything. Kelly's son, Tim, and Cohen's daughter, Nannie, fall in love despite the bickering of their parents; when they cannot get parental consent for their marriage, they secretly wed. Cohen inherits a fortune and moves to the upper East Side, taking Nannie with him. Sometime later, Nannie gives birth to a child; when her parents will not let any of the Kelly clan see the child, Nannie leaves home and goes to live with the Kellys, where Mrs. Cohen soon joins her. Cohen then discovers that Kelly is the rightful heir to the fortune that he himself has inherited and, moved by honesty, he goes to the burly cop and tells him so. The men are reconciled and decide to go into partnership together.

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

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