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HISTORY

Principal photography began on 12 May 1919, as stated in the previous day’s issue of Camera. The 17 May 1919 Motion Picture News noted that producer Maxwell Karger, of Metro Pictures Corp., had purchased the original story by John H. Blackwood as a starring vehicle for comedian Bert Lytell. The film, which marked the screen debut of actress Ethel Shannon, was referred to by its working title, It’s Easy to Make Money.
       According to the 25 May 1919 LAT, Lytell and co-star Bull Montana gave a realistic portrayal of convicts “pulverizing granite,” which left them covered with dirt and perspiration. When shooting was interrupted for lunch, Lytell and Montana were forced to eat with the background actors by a security guard who believed that stand-ins would have been substituted for the stars. The 21 Jun 1919 Exhibitors Herald and Motography noted that Lytell played “a burglar, a minister, a circus roustabout and a society leader” over the course of the picture. That same issue revealed that fixtures, large mirrors, and glassware from the Chicago, IL, tavern, Au Revoir, were being shipped to Metro’s Hollywood, CA, studios, where they were to be destroyed on camera by Lytell.
       The completion of filming was announced in the 8 Jun 1919 Camera, which also noted that some of the final scenes were shot at an unidentified location.
       The picture debuted as Easy to Make Money on 3 Aug 1919 at the New York Theatre in New York City. A general release followed the next day, with ...

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Principal photography began on 12 May 1919, as stated in the previous day’s issue of Camera. The 17 May 1919 Motion Picture News noted that producer Maxwell Karger, of Metro Pictures Corp., had purchased the original story by John H. Blackwood as a starring vehicle for comedian Bert Lytell. The film, which marked the screen debut of actress Ethel Shannon, was referred to by its working title, It’s Easy to Make Money.
       According to the 25 May 1919 LAT, Lytell and co-star Bull Montana gave a realistic portrayal of convicts “pulverizing granite,” which left them covered with dirt and perspiration. When shooting was interrupted for lunch, Lytell and Montana were forced to eat with the background actors by a security guard who believed that stand-ins would have been substituted for the stars. The 21 Jun 1919 Exhibitors Herald and Motography noted that Lytell played “a burglar, a minister, a circus roustabout and a society leader” over the course of the picture. That same issue revealed that fixtures, large mirrors, and glassware from the Chicago, IL, tavern, Au Revoir, were being shipped to Metro’s Hollywood, CA, studios, where they were to be destroyed on camera by Lytell.
       The completion of filming was announced in the 8 Jun 1919 Camera, which also noted that some of the final scenes were shot at an unidentified location.
       The picture debuted as Easy to Make Money on 3 Aug 1919 at the New York Theatre in New York City. A general release followed the next day, with a subsequent opening on 27 or 28 Aug 1919 at the Hippodrome in Los Angeles, CA. The film garnered a favorable review in the 8 Aug 1919 Var.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Camera
11 May 1919
p. 3
Camera
8 Jun 1919
p. 3
Camera
21 Aug 1919
p. 10
Exhibitors Herald and Motography
7 Jun 1919
p. 36
Exhibitors Herald and Motography
21 Jun 1919
p. 20, 60
Exhibitors Herald and Motography
6 Sep 1919
p. 88
Exhibitors Trade Review
26 Jul 1919
p. 641
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1919
p. Section III, p. 16
Motion Picture News
17 May 1919
p. 3286
Motion Picture News
21 Jun 1919
p. 4149
Motion Picture News
26 Jul 1919
p. 937
Moving Picture World
31 May 1919
p. 1335
Moving Picture World
26 Jul 1919
p. 575
New York Morning Telegraph
13 Jul 1919
p. 19
Variety
8 Aug 1919
p. 49
Wid's Daily
7 May 1919
---
Wid's Daily
20 Jul 1919
p. 11
Wid's Daily
29 Jul 1919
---
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
It's Easy to Make Money
Release Date:
4 August 1919
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 Aug 1919; Los Angeles opening: 27 or 28 Aug 1919
Production Date:
12 May--early Jun 1919
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro Pictures Corp.
8 August 1919
LP14049
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
4,600
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

James Frederick “Jimmy” Slocum, Jr., the wastrel son of a wealthy family, has been cited numerous times for reckless driving, and depends on his father’s money to keep him out of jail. The young man then wagers his father $25,000 that he that he can avoid being arrested more than once in the coming year. Jimmy wins by engaging in a bar fight and acting in contempt of court during his trial, earning him a one-year jail sentence. After his father secures Jimmy’s early release, the young man vows to succeed on his own. While stranded in a small town, Jimmy falls in love with Ethel Wheeler, the owner of a rundown hotel. They form a partnership and achieve success selling mineral water from a spring on her property. When the town banker tries to foreclose on them, Jimmy opens his own bank with his $25,000 winnings, marries Ethel, and gains his father’s ...

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James Frederick “Jimmy” Slocum, Jr., the wastrel son of a wealthy family, has been cited numerous times for reckless driving, and depends on his father’s money to keep him out of jail. The young man then wagers his father $25,000 that he that he can avoid being arrested more than once in the coming year. Jimmy wins by engaging in a bar fight and acting in contempt of court during his trial, earning him a one-year jail sentence. After his father secures Jimmy’s early release, the young man vows to succeed on his own. While stranded in a small town, Jimmy falls in love with Ethel Wheeler, the owner of a rundown hotel. They form a partnership and achieve success selling mineral water from a spring on her property. When the town banker tries to foreclose on them, Jimmy opens his own bank with his $25,000 winnings, marries Ethel, and gains his father’s respect.

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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.