The Scarf (1951)

87-88, 91 or 93 mins | Drama | 6 April 1951

Director:

E. A. Dupont

Writer:

E. A. Dupont

Cinematographer:

Frank F. Planer

Editor:

Joseph Gluck

Production Designer:

Rudolph Sternad

Production Company:

Gloria Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Dungeon . A HR news item notes that Edwin Rolfe's story "The Dungeon" was to be published as a novel simultaneously with the film's release; however, no information confirming such publication has been found. According to HR news items, Vicki Cummings and Otto Kruger were considered for parts in the film. According to information in the copyright records, the CBCS and reviews, Celia Lovsky was cast as "Mrs. Barrington," however, there was no character by that name in the print viewed and Lovsky's appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The appearance of some additional cast members listed only in the the copyright records has not been confirmed.
       A 13 Apr 1950 HR article notes that Ray Turner, pianist and member of Paramount's music department, recorded "Summer Nights" for the film. Portions of the film were shot on location near Palmdale in the Mojave desert and an unidentified California state asylum. This was director E. A. Dupont's first film since 1939's Hell's Kitchen , which he co-directed with Lewis Seiler (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ).
       According to DV news items in Dec 1953 Bank of America filed suit against Gloria Productions and other defendants, seeking $4,100 still due on a $275,000 loan for the film. The plaintiff had previously asked the court to foreclose on the production and subsequently sold the film after the balance of its original loan was not paid. The complaintant also asked the court to declare Sunset Securities Co., a company affiliated with the Bank of America, the sole owner ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Dungeon . A HR news item notes that Edwin Rolfe's story "The Dungeon" was to be published as a novel simultaneously with the film's release; however, no information confirming such publication has been found. According to HR news items, Vicki Cummings and Otto Kruger were considered for parts in the film. According to information in the copyright records, the CBCS and reviews, Celia Lovsky was cast as "Mrs. Barrington," however, there was no character by that name in the print viewed and Lovsky's appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The appearance of some additional cast members listed only in the the copyright records has not been confirmed.
       A 13 Apr 1950 HR article notes that Ray Turner, pianist and member of Paramount's music department, recorded "Summer Nights" for the film. Portions of the film were shot on location near Palmdale in the Mojave desert and an unidentified California state asylum. This was director E. A. Dupont's first film since 1939's Hell's Kitchen , which he co-directed with Lewis Seiler (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ).
       According to DV news items in Dec 1953 Bank of America filed suit against Gloria Productions and other defendants, seeking $4,100 still due on a $275,000 loan for the film. The plaintiff had previously asked the court to foreclose on the production and subsequently sold the film after the balance of its original loan was not paid. The complaintant also asked the court to declare Sunset Securities Co., a company affiliated with the Bank of America, the sole owner of the film. The disposition of the suit is unknown. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
31 Mar 1951.
---
Daily Variety
19 Mar 1951
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1953.
---
Daily Variety
7 Dec 1953.
---
Daily Variety
18 Dec 1953.
---
Film Daily
20 Mar 1951
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 1950
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1950
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 1950
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 1950
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 1950
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 1950
p. 12, 25.
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 1950
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1950.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 1951
p. 3.
Los Angeles Daily News
2 Jun 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Mar 1951
p. 766.
New York Times
23 Apr 1951
p. 21.
New York Times
29 Apr 1951.
---
New Yorker
28 Apr 1951.
---
Time
2 Apr 1951.
---
Variety
21 Mar 1951
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Gloria Film Production
Joseph Justman
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Chief set elec
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Woman's wardrobe
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Asst prod mgr
Casting dir
Company clerk
SOURCES
SONGS
"Summer Rains," music and lyrics by Sammy John DeFazio, Charles Milton Daniel and Gilbert Hugh Hall.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Dungeon
Release Date:
6 April 1951
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: week of 1 June 1951
Production Date:
April 1950 at Motion Picture Center Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Gloria Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 April 1951
Copyright Number:
LP824
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Lenses/Prints
Garutso Balanced Lens
Duration(in mins):
87-88, 91 or 93
Length(in feet):
7,906
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14593
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

John Howard Barrington escapes from Alcanta, a state asylum for the criminally insane, and exhaustedly winds his way through the desert as the police chase him. He finally collapses at a turkey farm and is taken in by its owner, desert hermit Ezra Thompson. When Ezra holds John at gunpoint and warns the escapee that the police will certainly catch up with him, John attempts to take the gun from him but fails. Still friendly despite the threat of violence, Ezra listens as John expounds that insanity is a lack of knowledge between right and wrong in a particular act. Ezra asks John what his particular act was but John cannot remember. John does recount an incident at the hospital in which he witnessed a brutal strangling of another prisoner but did not help the victim. Alcanta's Warden Anderson and other officers then arrive at the ranch and Ezra hides John. Anderson explains the history of the escapee to the group, and John overhears it in the next room. John, Anderson states, is a killer and his victim was Rose Marie, his girl friend at the time. John, who was finishing a law degree, would have been given the death penalty but his loss of memory secured his immunity. Anderson tells Ezra that John does not stand a chance of escaping in the barren desert with a $200 reward on his head. After Anderson and the others leave, John emerges, wanting to know why Ezra did not turn him in. Ezra explains that he prefers the company of nature and books, and distrusting civilization, decided to give John the benefit of the doubt. Later, John's foster father, the wealthy ... +


John Howard Barrington escapes from Alcanta, a state asylum for the criminally insane, and exhaustedly winds his way through the desert as the police chase him. He finally collapses at a turkey farm and is taken in by its owner, desert hermit Ezra Thompson. When Ezra holds John at gunpoint and warns the escapee that the police will certainly catch up with him, John attempts to take the gun from him but fails. Still friendly despite the threat of violence, Ezra listens as John expounds that insanity is a lack of knowledge between right and wrong in a particular act. Ezra asks John what his particular act was but John cannot remember. John does recount an incident at the hospital in which he witnessed a brutal strangling of another prisoner but did not help the victim. Alcanta's Warden Anderson and other officers then arrive at the ranch and Ezra hides John. Anderson explains the history of the escapee to the group, and John overhears it in the next room. John, Anderson states, is a killer and his victim was Rose Marie, his girl friend at the time. John, who was finishing a law degree, would have been given the death penalty but his loss of memory secured his immunity. Anderson tells Ezra that John does not stand a chance of escaping in the barren desert with a $200 reward on his head. After Anderson and the others leave, John emerges, wanting to know why Ezra did not turn him in. Ezra explains that he prefers the company of nature and books, and distrusting civilization, decided to give John the benefit of the doubt. Later, John's foster father, the wealthy Cyrus Barrington, and the English family psychiatrist, Dr. David Dunbar, visit Anderson and Alcanta's psychiatrist Dr. Gordon at the hospital to request that the reward be increased to $5,000. During the visit, Gordon lets out a laugh and the effeminate David becomes visibly perturbed and states that he is "allergic to irrelevant laughter." Back at the ranch, Ezra sends John, who has been working at the ranch for three weeks, into town to fetch feed. On his way John picks up hitchhiker Connie Carter, a singing waitress heading back to Level Louie's, a Los Angeles bar. Bored with looking at the sky and John's silence, Connie, whose "morals have no zipper," asks for some action during a roadside break, but John replies that he is satisfied because to him the desert is "an image of freedom." When Connie wraps a scarf around her neck, John recognizes it and adamantly asks where she got it but she refuses to answer. That evening John drops Connie at the Silver Saddle bar and later returns to find her cornered in a booth by two drunken locals. A brawl between the three men ensues but John disappears when the sheriff arrives. At the bus station Connie spots the $5,000 reward poster and contemplates going to the sheriff but, recalling John's kindness, decides to take the bus instead. At the ranch, John tells Ezra that he remembers Rose Marie was strangled with a scarf, a gift from his best friend David. Determined to find the next key to the puzzle, John seeks Connie out at Level Louie's but Connie runs him off, saying she knows about his insanity and the murder. Disconsolate but determined, John goes to David's office and David admits to him that he witnessed the murder but was unable to stop John because the shock crippled him. Barrington and the police, having been secretly contacted by David, show up and take John away. Convinced of John's innocence, Ezra and Gordon arrive at Level Louie's and enlist Connie's help to save John. Gordon then goes to David's office and tells him that "shock reaction" does not exist and, furthermore, John's reaction to the prison murder can be attributed to his unconsciously realizing it was a repeat of the previous event. Gordon tells David he knows that David suffered mental illness while serving in the English Army, and accuses him of being the killer, explaining that John was unable to react the first time because he was only partially conscious due to a severe blow to the head. After Gordon leaves the office abruptly, David turns to find Connie by the window wearing the duplicate scarf. Connie begins to laugh, upsetting David. He tells her that John and Rose Marie laughed behind his back that way and recounts how he killed Rose Marie in a fit of pique. The police, Gordon, John and Ezra are waiting at the door, and just as David is about to choke Connie, John comes to her rescue. Later at Level Louie's, John listens to Connie sing then, grateful for his freedom, leaves with Ezra to return to the turkey ranch, where it is "bound and bare" and spread with "lone and level sand." +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Crime, Psychological


Subject

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.