The Call of the Wild (1923)

Adventure | 23 September 1923

Director:

Fred Jackman

Writer:

Fred Jackman

Cinematographer:

Floyd Jackman

Production Company:

Hal Roach Studios
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HISTORY

The 4 Dec 1922 FD announced Hal Roach’s acquisition of motion picture rights for the 1903 Jack London novel. Principal photography was to begin “immediately” at Yellowstone National Park. The Mar 1923 AmCin reported additional location filming in Truckee, CA. On 18 Apr 1923, FD announced the completion of photography. A news item in the May 1923 AmCin stated that production took place over “required five months and several thousand miles of travel.” Actor Melbourne MacDowell was included among the cast.
       The 1 Sep 1923 Motion Picture News stated that Hal Roach Studios held a special screening for more than twenty veterans of the Klondike Gold Rush depicted in London’s novel. All reportedly approved the film.
       The Call of the Wild premiered the week of 22 Jul 1923 at the California Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. The engagement was extended into the following month, during which the picture opened at Miller’s Theatre on 12 Aug 1923, according to the 18 Aug 1923 Motion Picture News. The film was released nationwide on 23 Sep 1923. Reviews were generally positive. On 8 Dec 1923, Motion Picture News announced that Roach cut several minutes from the seven-reel picture, in keeping with his rule that none of the studio’s releases should exceed six reels.
       Call of the Wild was Roach’s first feature-length picture, as noted in the 9 Mar 1923 FD. The Dec 1923 Motion Picture revealed that, some years earlier, producer Sol Lesser ... More Less

The 4 Dec 1922 FD announced Hal Roach’s acquisition of motion picture rights for the 1903 Jack London novel. Principal photography was to begin “immediately” at Yellowstone National Park. The Mar 1923 AmCin reported additional location filming in Truckee, CA. On 18 Apr 1923, FD announced the completion of photography. A news item in the May 1923 AmCin stated that production took place over “required five months and several thousand miles of travel.” Actor Melbourne MacDowell was included among the cast.
       The 1 Sep 1923 Motion Picture News stated that Hal Roach Studios held a special screening for more than twenty veterans of the Klondike Gold Rush depicted in London’s novel. All reportedly approved the film.
       The Call of the Wild premiered the week of 22 Jul 1923 at the California Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. The engagement was extended into the following month, during which the picture opened at Miller’s Theatre on 12 Aug 1923, according to the 18 Aug 1923 Motion Picture News. The film was released nationwide on 23 Sep 1923. Reviews were generally positive. On 8 Dec 1923, Motion Picture News announced that Roach cut several minutes from the seven-reel picture, in keeping with his rule that none of the studio’s releases should exceed six reels.
       Call of the Wild was Roach’s first feature-length picture, as noted in the 9 Mar 1923 FD. The Dec 1923 Motion Picture revealed that, some years earlier, producer Sol Lesser also planned to make a film of the novel, and arranged the training of a St. Bernard puppy for that purpose, naming him “Buck” after Jack London’s canine protagonist. According to the 8 Dec 1923 Motion Picture News, Roach purchased the dog for his production.
       The Call of the Wild was restored by Martin Scorsese's The Film Foundation with support from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Mar 1923
p. 26.
American Cinematographer
May 1923
p. 26.
Film Daily
4 Dec 1922
p. 6.
Film Daily
9 Mar 1923
p. 1.
Film Daily
18 Apr 1923
p. 4.
Motion Picture
Dec 1923
p. 36.
Motion Picture News
18 Aug 1923
p. 768, 796.
Motion Picture News
1 Sep 1923
p. 1036, 1075.
Motion Picture News
29 Sep 1923
p. 1565.
Motion Picture News
20 Oct 1923
p. 1670.
Motion Picture News
20 Oct 1923
p. 1913
Motion Picture News
8 Dec 1923
p. 2066.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Pres
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Call of the Wild by Jack London (New York, 1903).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 September 1923
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: week of 22 July 1923
Production Date:
December 1922--April 1923
Copyright Claimant:
Hal Roach Studios
Copyright Date:
11 August 1923
Copyright Number:
LU19295
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,725
Length(in reels):
6 , 7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Buck, a young Saint Bernard, is stolen from his home in England and shipped to Canada where he is used on a dogsled. He is treated badly until John Thornton, a prospector, befriends him. Buck takes the opportunity to rescue Thornton when his life is endangered. Finally, he settles down to the pleasures of family ... +


Buck, a young Saint Bernard, is stolen from his home in England and shipped to Canada where he is used on a dogsled. He is treated badly until John Thornton, a prospector, befriends him. Buck takes the opportunity to rescue Thornton when his life is endangered. Finally, he settles down to the pleasures of family life. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject
Subject (Major):

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

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Prospectors, Canada, England, Dogs
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.