Bunker Bean (1936)

63 or 67 mins | Comedy | 26 June 1936

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HISTORY

Harry Leon Wilson's novel was first serialized in The Saturday Evening Post . The working title for this film was His Majesty, Bunker Bean , which also was the British release title. According to HR , John Arledge and John Beal were first considered for the role of "Bunker Bean." Owen Davis, Jr., who eventually got the part, made his debut as a star in the production. The exact nature of Henry Johnson and John Grey's writing contribution, which was found in SAB , is not known. HR production charts add Helen Lowell, Richard Barbee, Lorimer Johnson, Bentley Hewlett, Ralph Byrd and Will Stanton to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Joan Davis ( Telephone operator ) to the cast. In 1918, William D. Taylor directed Jack Pickford and Louise Huff in a Famous Players-Lasky version of Wilson's novel called His Majesty, Bunker Bean (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.1982). In 1928, Warner Bros. produced another version, also called His Majesty, Bunker Bean , which was directed by Harry Beaumont and starred Matt Moore (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; ... More Less

Harry Leon Wilson's novel was first serialized in The Saturday Evening Post . The working title for this film was His Majesty, Bunker Bean , which also was the British release title. According to HR , John Arledge and John Beal were first considered for the role of "Bunker Bean." Owen Davis, Jr., who eventually got the part, made his debut as a star in the production. The exact nature of Henry Johnson and John Grey's writing contribution, which was found in SAB , is not known. HR production charts add Helen Lowell, Richard Barbee, Lorimer Johnson, Bentley Hewlett, Ralph Byrd and Will Stanton to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Joan Davis ( Telephone operator ) to the cast. In 1918, William D. Taylor directed Jack Pickford and Louise Huff in a Famous Players-Lasky version of Wilson's novel called His Majesty, Bunker Bean (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.1982). In 1928, Warner Bros. produced another version, also called His Majesty, Bunker Bean , which was directed by Harry Beaumont and starred Matt Moore (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.2523). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 May 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 May 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
22 May 36
p. 34.
Motion Picture Herald
30 May 36
p. 34.
New York Times
27 Jun 36
p. 21.
Variety
1 Jul 36
p. 12.
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 assoc
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Bunker Bean by Harry Leon Wilson (New York, 1913) and the play His Majesty, Bunker Bean by Lee Wilson Dodd (New York, 2 Oct 1916).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
His Majesty, Bunker Bean
Release Date:
26 June 1936
Production Date:
2 Apr--late Apr 1936
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 June 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6433
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
63 or 67
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2209
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Bunker Bean, a timid stenographer for the brutish J. C. Kent, an aircraft manufacturing executive, learns about reincarnation from his friend, Dr. Meyerhauser, he becomes convinced that he was an important, successful figure in a previous life. To confirm his beliefs, Bunker visits fortune-teller Countess Cassandra, who tells him that he is a reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte. Soon after, Bunker receives a letter informing him that his uncle has died and has willed him $5,000 and the rights to the patent of his uncle's invention, a gyro-stablilizer device for airplanes. Bunker then is ordered to Kent's country home for a weekend of work and, in his boss's library, finds a biography of Napoleon. Stimulated by the section on Napoleon's love affairs, Bunker boldly spanks Kent's pretty daughter Mary when she insists on dating a notorious playboy. Humiliated by Mary's subsequent fury, Bunker re-visits Cassandra and her partner, Professor Balthazer, who assure Bunker that he is actually a reincarnation of Ram Tah, a wise and brave Egyptian pharoah. Kent, meanwhile, learns that Bunker owns the gyro-stablilizer patent and, although he knows that it is worth a considerable sum, offers him one hundred dollars for it. Inspired by a sawdust reproduction of Ram Tah's mummy, which Balthazer has sold to him for $1,000, Bunker becomes determined to force Kent to pay him a fair price and to marry Mary. During negotiations with Kent and his business rival, however, Bunker discovers that his mummy is a fake and suddenly loses his confidence. After Mary, who has fallen in love with the "new" Bunker, persuades him that his transformation is genuine, Bunker manipulates Kent into ... +


When Bunker Bean, a timid stenographer for the brutish J. C. Kent, an aircraft manufacturing executive, learns about reincarnation from his friend, Dr. Meyerhauser, he becomes convinced that he was an important, successful figure in a previous life. To confirm his beliefs, Bunker visits fortune-teller Countess Cassandra, who tells him that he is a reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte. Soon after, Bunker receives a letter informing him that his uncle has died and has willed him $5,000 and the rights to the patent of his uncle's invention, a gyro-stablilizer device for airplanes. Bunker then is ordered to Kent's country home for a weekend of work and, in his boss's library, finds a biography of Napoleon. Stimulated by the section on Napoleon's love affairs, Bunker boldly spanks Kent's pretty daughter Mary when she insists on dating a notorious playboy. Humiliated by Mary's subsequent fury, Bunker re-visits Cassandra and her partner, Professor Balthazer, who assure Bunker that he is actually a reincarnation of Ram Tah, a wise and brave Egyptian pharoah. Kent, meanwhile, learns that Bunker owns the gyro-stablilizer patent and, although he knows that it is worth a considerable sum, offers him one hundred dollars for it. Inspired by a sawdust reproduction of Ram Tah's mummy, which Balthazer has sold to him for $1,000, Bunker becomes determined to force Kent to pay him a fair price and to marry Mary. During negotiations with Kent and his business rival, however, Bunker discovers that his mummy is a fake and suddenly loses his confidence. After Mary, who has fallen in love with the "new" Bunker, persuades him that his transformation is genuine, Bunker manipulates Kent into a $50,000 offer and then informs his boss that Mary is now Mrs. Bunker Bean. +

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

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