And Sudden Death (1936)

60 or 65 mins | Melodrama | 19 June 1936

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HISTORY

According to MPH , the film was inspired by a furor over J. C. Furnas' essay "And Sudden Death" published in the Literary Digest (18 Jan 1936), which focussed on automobile accidents. This article is also noted in the Paramount story files at the AMPAS Library. A DV news item, however, noted that in Dec 1935, Paramount was unable to match a story to the title and was considering a remake of Cecil B. DeMille's 1922 film, Manslaughter , starring Thomas Meighan and Leatrice Joy, which was based on Alice Duer Miller's novel of the same name (New York, 1921). In 1930, Paramount released a remake of Manslaughter , directed by George Abbott and starring Claudette Colbert and Fredric March (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.3466 and F2.3467). Although the story of Manslaughter has similar elements to this story, it may not have been the source material for And Sudden Death . HR production charts include Del Henderson, Robert Emmett O'Connor and Robert Homans in the cast, however, their contribution to the final film has not been ... More Less

According to MPH , the film was inspired by a furor over J. C. Furnas' essay "And Sudden Death" published in the Literary Digest (18 Jan 1936), which focussed on automobile accidents. This article is also noted in the Paramount story files at the AMPAS Library. A DV news item, however, noted that in Dec 1935, Paramount was unable to match a story to the title and was considering a remake of Cecil B. DeMille's 1922 film, Manslaughter , starring Thomas Meighan and Leatrice Joy, which was based on Alice Duer Miller's novel of the same name (New York, 1921). In 1930, Paramount released a remake of Manslaughter , directed by George Abbott and starring Claudette Colbert and Fredric March (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.3466 and F2.3467). Although the story of Manslaughter has similar elements to this story, it may not have been the source material for And Sudden Death . HR production charts include Del Henderson, Robert Emmett O'Connor and Robert Homans in the cast, however, their contribution to the final film has not been determined. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 Dec 35
p. 8.
Daily Variety
23 May 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Jun 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 36
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 36
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 36
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 36
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 36
p. 36.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
8 Jun 36
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
16 May 36
p. 27.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Jun 36
p. 68.
New York Times
18 Jul 36
p. 18.
Variety
22 Jul 36
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 June 1936
Production Date:
April--early May 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 June 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6441
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60 or 65
Length(in feet):
5,877
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2245
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Police lieutenant James Knox, chief of traffic, takes a personal interest in repeat speeding offender Betty Winslow. After she and her wealthy family attend traffic school, Betty comprehends the dangers of speeding, but her family continues to drive recklessly. When Betty's car breaks down on the way to a party, James rescues her, and they head toward the party, but first stop at a home for sale and play house, pretending they live there. When they finally reach the party, everyone is leaving. Because her brother Jackie is drunk, Betty insists on driving his car, while James takes the rest of the family. At a police brake-testing site, Betty is warned that the brakes on the car are severely worn, and she is not to drive over 30 m.p.h. Betty and Jackie stop for cigarettes, and Jackie takes the wheel, refusing to let Betty drive. Speeding down a road, he smashes into a busload of children. Bobby Sanborn, a policeman's son, dies on the operating table as a result of his injuries in the accident. Betty takes the blame for the accident and is found guilty of second degree murder and imprisoned. Remorseful about his cowardice, Jackie intends to confess to James. In the meantime, James has determined that Jackie was driving and is relieved that Betty is not guilty. Jackie is unable to confess, however, and runs out of the house away from James. James and his partner pursue Jackie until his car crashes into a bridge and plunges into the water. Just before he dies in the hospital, Jackie confesses. Betty is released and she and James are ... +


Police lieutenant James Knox, chief of traffic, takes a personal interest in repeat speeding offender Betty Winslow. After she and her wealthy family attend traffic school, Betty comprehends the dangers of speeding, but her family continues to drive recklessly. When Betty's car breaks down on the way to a party, James rescues her, and they head toward the party, but first stop at a home for sale and play house, pretending they live there. When they finally reach the party, everyone is leaving. Because her brother Jackie is drunk, Betty insists on driving his car, while James takes the rest of the family. At a police brake-testing site, Betty is warned that the brakes on the car are severely worn, and she is not to drive over 30 m.p.h. Betty and Jackie stop for cigarettes, and Jackie takes the wheel, refusing to let Betty drive. Speeding down a road, he smashes into a busload of children. Bobby Sanborn, a policeman's son, dies on the operating table as a result of his injuries in the accident. Betty takes the blame for the accident and is found guilty of second degree murder and imprisoned. Remorseful about his cowardice, Jackie intends to confess to James. In the meantime, James has determined that Jackie was driving and is relieved that Betty is not guilty. Jackie is unable to confess, however, and runs out of the house away from James. James and his partner pursue Jackie until his car crashes into a bridge and plunges into the water. Just before he dies in the hospital, Jackie confesses. Betty is released and she and James are married. +

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.