Take the Stand (1934)

78 mins | Mystery | 7 September 1934

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HISTORY

Liberty Pictures borrowed Jack La Rue and Gail Patrick from Paramount for this production. According to a HR production chart, Edward Le Saint was in the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The MPD reviewer speculated that George Gaylord's character was modeled after columnist and radio celebrity Walter Winchell. Walter Winchell's real-life secretary was named Ruth Cambridge, which suggests that the film's character "Sally Oxford" was intended as a reference to ... More Less

Liberty Pictures borrowed Jack La Rue and Gail Patrick from Paramount for this production. According to a HR production chart, Edward Le Saint was in the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The MPD reviewer speculated that George Gaylord's character was modeled after columnist and radio celebrity Walter Winchell. Walter Winchell's real-life secretary was named Ruth Cambridge, which suggests that the film's character "Sally Oxford" was intended as a reference to Winchell. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Sep 1934.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jan 34
p. 4.
Daily Variety
29 Jan 34
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Mar 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Sep 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jan 34
p. 7.
Motion Picture Daily
23 Mar 34
p. 11.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Sep 34
p. 25.
Variety
11 Sep 34
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
Story, cont and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the short story "The Deuce of Hearts" by Earl Derr Biggers (publication undetermined).
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 September 1934
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 6 September 1934
Production Date:
19 January--29 January 1934 at Talisman Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Liberty Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 March 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4575
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Because of his highly personal, insinuating columns and radio broadcasts, scandal monger George Gaylord is feared and hated by many prominent New Yorkers, including Jerome Burbank, a millionaire financier; Burbank's daughter Cornelia; Joe Reynolds, a well-known actor; Ernie Paddock, a gangster kingpin; and Percy Dale, a radio "crooner." Infuriated by Gaylord's gossipy reports, Cornelia, Paddock and Dale plead unsuccessfully with him to stop, and Paddock even tries to scare Gaylord into silence by threatening him with kidnapping. On Christmas Eve, all of Gaylord's recent targets gather at the radio station where the columnist is about to deliver a particularly damning broadcast. Ignoring the continued pleadings of his victims, Gaylord locks himself in the radio booth and begins his program. Soon after, the group hears Gaylord scream, "Don't shoot," which is followed by a gunshot. When the police arrive, they question the group and discover that while every person is carrying a gun, only Burbank's has been fired. Although detective Bill Hamilton is convinced that Gaylord was stabbed, not shot, Burbank is arrested. Disgusted by the police commissioner's determination to convict Burbank, Bill resigns from the force and agrees to help Cornelia exonerate her father, whose guilt is argued fervently in court by the district attorney. As the jury deliberates Burbank's fate, Bill suddenly declares that he has solved the mystery and leaves to gather his evidence. When he returns, he reveals to the court that Halliburton, Gaylord's journalistic rival who is in love with Sally Oxford, Gaylord's secretary, killed Gaylord. With Sally's aid, Bill reveals that Halliburton snuck into the broadcast booth, stabbed Gaylord through the neck with an icicle and then ... +


Because of his highly personal, insinuating columns and radio broadcasts, scandal monger George Gaylord is feared and hated by many prominent New Yorkers, including Jerome Burbank, a millionaire financier; Burbank's daughter Cornelia; Joe Reynolds, a well-known actor; Ernie Paddock, a gangster kingpin; and Percy Dale, a radio "crooner." Infuriated by Gaylord's gossipy reports, Cornelia, Paddock and Dale plead unsuccessfully with him to stop, and Paddock even tries to scare Gaylord into silence by threatening him with kidnapping. On Christmas Eve, all of Gaylord's recent targets gather at the radio station where the columnist is about to deliver a particularly damning broadcast. Ignoring the continued pleadings of his victims, Gaylord locks himself in the radio booth and begins his program. Soon after, the group hears Gaylord scream, "Don't shoot," which is followed by a gunshot. When the police arrive, they question the group and discover that while every person is carrying a gun, only Burbank's has been fired. Although detective Bill Hamilton is convinced that Gaylord was stabbed, not shot, Burbank is arrested. Disgusted by the police commissioner's determination to convict Burbank, Bill resigns from the force and agrees to help Cornelia exonerate her father, whose guilt is argued fervently in court by the district attorney. As the jury deliberates Burbank's fate, Bill suddenly declares that he has solved the mystery and leaves to gather his evidence. When he returns, he reveals to the court that Halliburton, Gaylord's journalistic rival who is in love with Sally Oxford, Gaylord's secretary, killed Gaylord. With Sally's aid, Bill reveals that Halliburton snuck into the broadcast booth, stabbed Gaylord through the neck with an icicle and then used a phonographic recording of a gunshot and an imitation of Gaylord's voice to set up Burbank. After their fingerprints are found on the recording, Sally and Halliburton confess to the murder, and Cornelia, finally free from worry, embraces Bill. +

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.