I Ring Doorbells (1946)

67 mins | Comedy-drama | 25 February 1946

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HISTORY

A LAT news item notes that Louis Hayward was under consideration to play the lead, with Charles Bickford in the role of "Tippy." According to a 2 Oct 1944 HR news item, William K. Howard was assigned to direct. The book, I Ring Doorbells , was the autobiography of press agent Russell ... More Less

A LAT news item notes that Louis Hayward was under consideration to play the lead, with Charles Bickford in the role of "Tippy." According to a 2 Oct 1944 HR news item, William K. Howard was assigned to direct. The book, I Ring Doorbells , was the autobiography of press agent Russell Birdwell. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Jan 1946.
---
Daily Variety
27 Dec 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Jan 46
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Dec 45
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
26 Dec 1944.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Jan 46
p. 2786.
Variety
2 Jan 46
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd eng
Re-rec and eff mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Dir of makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book I Ring Doorbells by Russell Birdwell (New York, 1939).
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 February 1946
Copyright Claimant:
PRC Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 January 1946
Copyright Number:
LP26
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
67
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Outside the Los Angeles Mirror building, former reporter Dick Meadows meets news photographer Stubby. Dick left the paper three years earlier when a play he had written was optioned and now wants his old job back. Although Stubby informs him that the paper recently dismissed two reporters, Dick is able to persuade G. B. Barton, the paper's owner, to rehire him. While they chat, G. B.'s son Clyde arrives with his girl friend, Helen Carter, of whom G. B. does not approve. The next day, Dick and Stubby look into a story about a farmer named Bradley, who is about to be run off his farm. Dick encourages Bradley to hold out against the authorities while he tries to generate public support. At the Bradley farm, Dick meets Brooke Peters, who tells him that she is a local teacher. Dick then invites her to bring some of her students to the paper. Back at the paper, Dick is surprised to learn that his former mentor, Tippy Miller, is now working there. G. B. explains that Tippy began to drink after his wife died, and his work is no longer up to standard. Later, Brooke, now more stylishly dressed than she was in the country, hires some street urchins to pretend to be her students and disrupt Dick's office. As she is leaving, Stubby recognizes her as a magazine writer and persuades her to accompany him to the office to observe the results of her joke. To Brooke's disappointment, things are quiet in the office as Dick enthralls the boys with stories of his reporting triumphs. Dick is delighted ... +


Outside the Los Angeles Mirror building, former reporter Dick Meadows meets news photographer Stubby. Dick left the paper three years earlier when a play he had written was optioned and now wants his old job back. Although Stubby informs him that the paper recently dismissed two reporters, Dick is able to persuade G. B. Barton, the paper's owner, to rehire him. While they chat, G. B.'s son Clyde arrives with his girl friend, Helen Carter, of whom G. B. does not approve. The next day, Dick and Stubby look into a story about a farmer named Bradley, who is about to be run off his farm. Dick encourages Bradley to hold out against the authorities while he tries to generate public support. At the Bradley farm, Dick meets Brooke Peters, who tells him that she is a local teacher. Dick then invites her to bring some of her students to the paper. Back at the paper, Dick is surprised to learn that his former mentor, Tippy Miller, is now working there. G. B. explains that Tippy began to drink after his wife died, and his work is no longer up to standard. Later, Brooke, now more stylishly dressed than she was in the country, hires some street urchins to pretend to be her students and disrupt Dick's office. As she is leaving, Stubby recognizes her as a magazine writer and persuades her to accompany him to the office to observe the results of her joke. To Brooke's disappointment, things are quiet in the office as Dick enthralls the boys with stories of his reporting triumphs. Dick is delighted to see Brooke again, however, and they have a drink together. Later, in hopes of ending his son's relationship with Helen, G. B. asks Dick to look into her background. After Dick befriends Helen's French maid, Yvette, he breaks a date with Brooke, prompting a quarrel. Using his friendship with Yvette to gain access to Helen's apartment, Dick helps Stubby rig a camera to go off automatically when someone sits on the couch. Meanwhile, Dick learns that his stories have inspired the governor to intervene on Bradley's behalf. Some time later, Stubby retrieves the exposed film from the hidden camera, which contains pictures of Helen and Ransome, the paper's drama critic, but before Dick can show them to G. B., Clyde announces his engagement to Helen, and Dick decides to remain silent. When he learns that Tippy is going to be fired, Dick files a story under his name. The success of the story helps restore Tippy's confidence. When Brooke learns what Dick has done, she decides to make up with him. That night, however, Brooke sees Dick with Yvette in a nightclub, where he has taken her prior to retrieving the hidden camera, and gives him a showy kiss. Yvette jealously storms away, and Brooke follows her. By the time Brooke arrives at Helen's apartment, Yvette has found Helen's body. Brooke calls the police, who arrive shortly after Dick and Stubby. Later, Ransome confesses that he killed Helen, with whom he had been having an affair, when he struck her, but the autopsy reveals that she was poisoned. Although this seems to clear Ransome, Dick is convinced that he is guilty. He and Stubby retrieve the hidden camera, which reveals that Ransome poisoned Helen before he struck her. Brooke and Dick are reconciled, and Yvette, who is really from Brooklyn, heads off with fellow Brooklynite Stubby for a drink. +

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.