The Whole Town's Talking (1935)

93 or 95 mins | Comedy | 22 February 1935

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Jail Breaker and Passport to Fame. Some contemporary reviews mention a scene between Manion and Jones's Aunt Agatha, that was apparently deleted in later prints. Edward G. Robinson was borrowed from Warner Bros. for the film. The Var review predicted that this film would be a turning point in Robinson's career, which had been foundering after box office failures. Other reviews concurred with that estimation and modern sources note that the success of The Whole Town's Talking did restore Robinson's career. According to modern sources, prison footage was taken from Columbia's film The Criminal Code (see above). ...

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The working titles of this film were Jail Breaker and Passport to Fame. Some contemporary reviews mention a scene between Manion and Jones's Aunt Agatha, that was apparently deleted in later prints. Edward G. Robinson was borrowed from Warner Bros. for the film. The Var review predicted that this film would be a turning point in Robinson's career, which had been foundering after box office failures. Other reviews concurred with that estimation and modern sources note that the success of The Whole Town's Talking did restore Robinson's career. According to modern sources, prison footage was taken from Columbia's film The Criminal Code (see above).

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Sep 1934
p. 7
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1934
p. 1
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1934
p. 3
Daily Variety
17 Jan 1935
p. 3
Film Daily
15 Feb 1935
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 1934
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1934
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 1935
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 1935
p. 2
Motion Picture Daily
18 Jan 1935
p. 10
Motion Picture Herald
10 Nov 1934
p. 47
Motion Picture Herald
26 Jan 1935
pp. 42-43
MPSI
1 Apr 1935
p. 14
New York Times
1 Mar 1935
p. 16
New York Times
14 Apr 1935
p. 3
Time
11 Mar 1935
p. 52
Variety
6 Mar 1935
p. 20
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Robert Emmett O'Connor
Ralph M. Remley
Don Brody
Robert E. Homans
William L. Thorne
Ethan A. Laidlaw
Eddie Hearn
Dutch "O. G." Hendrian
Sydney de Grey
Carol Holloway
Allen Caven
Bernadine Hayes
Jack C. Grey
Edwin J. Brady
Gordon DeMain
Ernest F. Young
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A John Ford Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
Eddie Donahue
Asst dir
Second asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Johnny Punter
Gaffer
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
Microphone
MAKEUP
Hal Senator
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr clerk
John Cook
Elec
Props
Doorman
STAND INS
Stand-in for Edward G. Robinson
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the story "Jail Breaker" by W. R. Burnett in Collier's (Jul--Aug 1932).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Jail Breaker
Passport to Fame
Release Date:
22 February 1935
Production Date:
24 Oct--11 Dec 1934
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp.
11 February 1935
LP5323
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93 or 95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
568
SYNOPSIS

Arthur Ferguson Jones is late for his job as an advertising clerk for the first time in his life, just as he was about to be given a raise in salary by his bosses, Seaver and J. G. Carpenter. While Jones's contrition enables him to retain his position, the unrepetant attitude of another late employee, Wilhemina "Bill" Clark, the object of Jones's unspoken love, causes her to be fired. She points out to the staff the resemblance between a picture in the newspaper of the escaped convict "Killer" Manion and Jones. While Jones lunches at a restaurant, the obsequious Hoyt also notices the similarity and turns Jones over to the police in expectation of a reward. Seaver establishes Jones's identity, but to protect him from another mistaken arrest, he is given a special passport to show wary policemen. Back at the office, "J. G." encourages Jones, an aspiring writer, to sign a deal with newspaperman Healy to author a special serial on his own appraisal of Manion. The three men get drunk together, and Jones later kisses the thrilled Clark and orders Seaver to put her back on the payroll. However, Manion waits for Jones at his apartment and demands the use of the passport at night to protect him during criminal undertakings. Although for the first time in Jones's life everyone is deferential toward him, and Clark affectionately asserts control over his career, Jones lives in perpetual fear of Manion. The publicity-seeking criminal demands that Jones's newspaper series be turned into his reminiscences, which raises the suspicion of authorities. Clark innocently visits Jones's apartment and does not recognize ...

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Arthur Ferguson Jones is late for his job as an advertising clerk for the first time in his life, just as he was about to be given a raise in salary by his bosses, Seaver and J. G. Carpenter. While Jones's contrition enables him to retain his position, the unrepetant attitude of another late employee, Wilhemina "Bill" Clark, the object of Jones's unspoken love, causes her to be fired. She points out to the staff the resemblance between a picture in the newspaper of the escaped convict "Killer" Manion and Jones. While Jones lunches at a restaurant, the obsequious Hoyt also notices the similarity and turns Jones over to the police in expectation of a reward. Seaver establishes Jones's identity, but to protect him from another mistaken arrest, he is given a special passport to show wary policemen. Back at the office, "J. G." encourages Jones, an aspiring writer, to sign a deal with newspaperman Healy to author a special serial on his own appraisal of Manion. The three men get drunk together, and Jones later kisses the thrilled Clark and orders Seaver to put her back on the payroll. However, Manion waits for Jones at his apartment and demands the use of the passport at night to protect him during criminal undertakings. Although for the first time in Jones's life everyone is deferential toward him, and Clark affectionately asserts control over his career, Jones lives in perpetual fear of Manion. The publicity-seeking criminal demands that Jones's newspaper series be turned into his reminiscences, which raises the suspicion of authorities. Clark innocently visits Jones's apartment and does not recognize Manion until it is too late. The district attorney orders that Jones be placed under protective custody in prison, but Manion takes Jones's place to kill fellow gangster, "Slugs" Martin, who turned stool pigeon on him. After the murder of Martin and the release of the supposed Jones, the disappearance of Seaver and Clark tips off authorities to the true state of affairs. Manion plans to have Jones killed in a police ambush to convince them that Manion is dead. However, Jones forgets his wallet and returns prematurely to the hideout while Manion is with a girl friend. The gangsters unintentionally reveal to Jones his fate, and when Manion returns, Jones, who had passed up an earlier opportunity to murder Manion, accepts their offer to shoot the man they believe is Jones but is really Manion. Jones then grabs a machine gun, locks up the criminals, and frees their prisoners, Seaver, Clark, and Jones's nagging Aunt Agatha. Meanwhile the persistent Hoyt, still trailing Jones in the belief that he is Manion, has summoned the police just in time. Jones and Clark marry and take his long hoped-for trip to Shanghai.

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

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