Platinum Blonde (1931)

82 or 90 mins | Romantic comedy | 31 October 1931

Director:

Frank Capra

Producer:

Harry Cohn

Cinematographer:

Joseph Walker

Editor:

Gene Milford

Production Designer:

Stephen Goosson

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The film's working titles were Gallagher and The Gilded Cage . According to contemporary news items, it was put into production on short notice, ahead of Forbidden , directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck, when Stanwyck began a contract dispute with Columbia and production on Forbidden was delayed. Although FD reported that Halliwell Hobbes joined the cast in place of Donald Dillaway, both Hobbes and Dillaway are in the film. Platinum Blonde was the first film on which Capra and Robert Riskin worked together. Robert Williams, who received excellent reviews for his portrayal of "Stew Smith," died on 3 Nov 1931 following operations for appendicitis and peritonitis. This was his last film. According to modern sources, six other writers besides the five given screen credit worked on the script, but their names have not been determined. Modern sources list the following additional cast members: Bill Elliot ( Dinner guest ), Harry Semels ( Waiter ), Olaf Hytten ( Radcliffe ), Tom London, Hal Price, Eddy Chandler, and Charles Jordan ( Reporters ), Dick Cramer ( Speakeasy proprietor ), Wilson Benge ( Butler ... More Less

The film's working titles were Gallagher and The Gilded Cage . According to contemporary news items, it was put into production on short notice, ahead of Forbidden , directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck, when Stanwyck began a contract dispute with Columbia and production on Forbidden was delayed. Although FD reported that Halliwell Hobbes joined the cast in place of Donald Dillaway, both Hobbes and Dillaway are in the film. Platinum Blonde was the first film on which Capra and Robert Riskin worked together. Robert Williams, who received excellent reviews for his portrayal of "Stew Smith," died on 3 Nov 1931 following operations for appendicitis and peritonitis. This was his last film. According to modern sources, six other writers besides the five given screen credit worked on the script, but their names have not been determined. Modern sources list the following additional cast members: Bill Elliot ( Dinner guest ), Harry Semels ( Waiter ), Olaf Hytten ( Radcliffe ), Tom London, Hal Price, Eddy Chandler, and Charles Jordan ( Reporters ), Dick Cramer ( Speakeasy proprietor ), Wilson Benge ( Butler ). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
14 Sep 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
24 Sep 31
p. 8.
Film Daily
25 Sep 31
p. 8.
Film Daily
1 Nov 31
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 31
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Oct 31
p. 33.
New York Times
31 Oct 31
p. 22.
Variety
3 Nov 31
p. 27.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Gilded Cage
Gallagher
Release Date:
31 October 1931
Production Date:
3 August--28 August 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
22 October 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2572
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82 or 90
Length(in feet):
8,240
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Ace reporter Stew Smith is assigned to cover a breach of promise suit being filed by chorus girl Gloria Golden against Michael Schuyler, member of the wealthy, socially prominent Schuyler family. Stew tricks Mrs. Schuyler into admitting Gloria was paid off, although Michael's letters to her have not yet been recovered. Michael's beautiful sister Ann then tries to charm Stew, but he nevertheless uses their telephone to call in the story to Conroy, his editor. That night Stew discusses the case with his best pal, fellow reporter Gallagher, who is secretly in love with Stew even though he treats her like one of the guys. The next day, Stew goes to see Ann, to whom he gives Michael's letters, which he stole from Gloria while he was interviewing her. Ann apologizes for her rudeness, and they begin seeing each other. A month later, Stew and Ann elope, prompting Conroy to rib Stew about being "Mr. Schuyler." The Schuyler family is furious about the marriage, but Ann assures them she will quickly tame Stew. When Stew arrives, the newlyweds discuss where they will live, and Stew reluctantly agrees to move into the mansion upon Ann's insistence. Later, at a party for the Spanish ambassador, Stew is bored with the stuffed shirts until he sees Gallagher, who is filling in for the newspaper's society editor. Stew and Gallagher's reunion is interrupted by rival reporter Bingy Baker, who offers Stew a job writing a column for Bingy's paper, on the condition that he sign it "by Ann Schuyler's husband." Bingy adds insult to injury by calling Stew a "Cinderella Man," and is rewarded with a punch ... +


Ace reporter Stew Smith is assigned to cover a breach of promise suit being filed by chorus girl Gloria Golden against Michael Schuyler, member of the wealthy, socially prominent Schuyler family. Stew tricks Mrs. Schuyler into admitting Gloria was paid off, although Michael's letters to her have not yet been recovered. Michael's beautiful sister Ann then tries to charm Stew, but he nevertheless uses their telephone to call in the story to Conroy, his editor. That night Stew discusses the case with his best pal, fellow reporter Gallagher, who is secretly in love with Stew even though he treats her like one of the guys. The next day, Stew goes to see Ann, to whom he gives Michael's letters, which he stole from Gloria while he was interviewing her. Ann apologizes for her rudeness, and they begin seeing each other. A month later, Stew and Ann elope, prompting Conroy to rib Stew about being "Mr. Schuyler." The Schuyler family is furious about the marriage, but Ann assures them she will quickly tame Stew. When Stew arrives, the newlyweds discuss where they will live, and Stew reluctantly agrees to move into the mansion upon Ann's insistence. Later, at a party for the Spanish ambassador, Stew is bored with the stuffed shirts until he sees Gallagher, who is filling in for the newspaper's society editor. Stew and Gallagher's reunion is interrupted by rival reporter Bingy Baker, who offers Stew a job writing a column for Bingy's paper, on the condition that he sign it "by Ann Schuyler's husband." Bingy adds insult to injury by calling Stew a "Cinderella Man," and is rewarded with a punch in the nose. The next day, the incident is on the front page of Bingy's newspaper, much to the dismay of Mrs. Schuyler. As time passes, Stew wearies of the party life, and Ann wearies of him. One night, after waiting impatiently for Stew to get ready for the mayor's reception, Ann goes to get him, but leaves without him when Stew tells her he can no longer tolerate her friends. After a few hours, Stew becomes bored and asks Gallagher for help with the play he is writing. She asks her friend Hank to chaperone, and he brings the whole gang to the Schuyler mansion. While the party reaches uproarious levels downstairs, Stew and Gallagher work on the play, which she tells him to write from his own experience. When Ann returns, she orders Stew to throw everyone out of her house immediately, but Stew can take no more and packs his bags to leave with Gallagher. Later, at Stew's apartment, he and Gallagher are working on the play when Dexter Grayson, the Schuylers' lawyer, arrives to offer him a financial settlement for the divorce. Stew wants no part of the Schuyler fortune and punches Grayson, then writes the incident into his play. Gallagher asks about the play's ending, and Stew tells her that his character will not return to his wife but will instead marry the character Gallagher suggested, because he has been in love with her all along without knowing it. +

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

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