Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934)

73,78 or 80 mins | Melodrama | 19 October 1934

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HISTORY

According to a 1931 news item in FD, Agnes Christine Johnston was signed to write dialogue and character material for a production of Mrs. Wiggs and the Cabbage Patch, however, no later news items or reviews mention her and the extent of her contribution to the film produced in 1934 has not been determined. FD also noted in 1931 that Junior Durkin and Charlotte Henry were initially slated to appear in the film. This film marks Pauline Lord's screen debut. The "Glow Worm Ballet," which was performed in the vaudeville theatre scene, was staged by LeRoy Prinz. A photograph of Fields as a young man that was used in the film was, according to the pressbook, "an art study made of himself in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was a tramp juggler." Press reports also note that the shantytown was built in Calabasas, and a news item in DV notes that some scenes were filmed at Lasky Mesa, CA. The following songs were heard in part in the film: "The Glow-Worm," English words by Lilla Cayley Robinson, German words and music by Paul Lincke; "Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie," words by Andrew B. Sterling, music by Harry Von Tilzer; "Listen to the Mockingbird," words and music by Alice Hawthorne; "Old Folks at Home," words and music by Stephen Foster; and traditional Scottish ballad "Comin' Thro' the Rye," words by Robert Burns. Actress Mary McLaren was identified in a production still from the film, but her appearance in the released film has not been determined. According to a modern source, Fields seriously injured his ankle prior to production, and ...

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According to a 1931 news item in FD, Agnes Christine Johnston was signed to write dialogue and character material for a production of Mrs. Wiggs and the Cabbage Patch, however, no later news items or reviews mention her and the extent of her contribution to the film produced in 1934 has not been determined. FD also noted in 1931 that Junior Durkin and Charlotte Henry were initially slated to appear in the film. This film marks Pauline Lord's screen debut. The "Glow Worm Ballet," which was performed in the vaudeville theatre scene, was staged by LeRoy Prinz. A photograph of Fields as a young man that was used in the film was, according to the pressbook, "an art study made of himself in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was a tramp juggler." Press reports also note that the shantytown was built in Calabasas, and a news item in DV notes that some scenes were filmed at Lasky Mesa, CA. The following songs were heard in part in the film: "The Glow-Worm," English words by Lilla Cayley Robinson, German words and music by Paul Lincke; "Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie," words by Andrew B. Sterling, music by Harry Von Tilzer; "Listen to the Mockingbird," words and music by Alice Hawthorne; "Old Folks at Home," words and music by Stephen Foster; and traditional Scottish ballad "Comin' Thro' the Rye," words by Robert Burns. Actress Mary McLaren was identified in a production still from the film, but her appearance in the released film has not been determined. According to a modern source, Fields seriously injured his ankle prior to production, and was in pain during filming. Modern sources add Tyler Brooke (Ticket taker) and Ann Sheridan to the cast.
       Other films produced by Paramount based on Rice and Flexner's play and titled Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, are the 1919 production, directed by Hugh Ford and starring Marguerite Clark and Mary Carr (see entry), and the 1942 production, directed by Ralph Murphy and starring Fay Bainter and Hugh Herbert.
       The story was originally produced on film in 1914 (see entry).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Jun 1934
p. 3
Daily Variety
20 Jul 1934
p. 4
Film Daily
4 Oct 1931
p. 4
Film Daily
27 Oct 1934
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 1934
p. 7
Motion Picture Daily
18 Aug 1934
p. 4
Motion Picture Herald
25 Aug 1934
p. 31
New York Times
29 Oct 1934
p. 14
Variety
30 Oct 1934
p. 16
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst to dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Charles Lang
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SOUND
Rec eng
DANCE
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch by Alice Hegan Rice and Anne Crawford Flexner (New York, 3 Sep 1904).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 October 1934
Production Date:
early Jun--Jul 1934
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Paramount Productions, Inc.
18 October 1934
LP5037
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73,78 or 80
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
133
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Mrs. Elvira Wiggs has been rearing her children, Jimmy, Billy, Europena, Asia and Australia, alone for three years since her husband Hiram left for the Klondike. The family is destitute, living in the shantytown of Cabbage Patch, and faces a dismal Thanksgiving. After a man leaves his horse for dead, the Wiggs revive it, naming it "Cuby" (after Cuba). Jimmy uses the horse to haul kindling to earn money. To their surprise, Lucy Olcott, a wealthy young benefactress, brings them two baskets of food for Thanksgiving. Lucy shuns her boyfriend, Bob Redding, however, after he shows up late with alcohol on his breath. She is unaware that he was attempting to assist an alcoholic friend back to the hospital, and his friend slipped liquor into his drinking water. Bob takes an interest in the Wiggs family, and takes Billy to a charitable hospital after finding out he has been sick for some time. Bob then buys tickets for the whole Wiggs family to attend the theater. In the meantime, Miss Tabitha Hazy, a spinster and close friend of Mrs. Wiggs, has selected a husband from a brochure with Mrs. Wiggs's assistance. The Wiggs are thrilled with the show, but their joy is interrupted when Mrs. Wiggs is called to Billy's bedside at the hospital. As she tearfully recounts the highlights of the performance, Billy dies. Touched by the tragedy of her situation, Bob advertises in his newspaper to locate Mr. Wiggs and bring him home. Still in mourning, Mrs. Wiggs helps Miss Hazy elicit a proposal from her demanding suitor, C. Ellsworth Stubbins, who promises that if she can ...

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Mrs. Elvira Wiggs has been rearing her children, Jimmy, Billy, Europena, Asia and Australia, alone for three years since her husband Hiram left for the Klondike. The family is destitute, living in the shantytown of Cabbage Patch, and faces a dismal Thanksgiving. After a man leaves his horse for dead, the Wiggs revive it, naming it "Cuby" (after Cuba). Jimmy uses the horse to haul kindling to earn money. To their surprise, Lucy Olcott, a wealthy young benefactress, brings them two baskets of food for Thanksgiving. Lucy shuns her boyfriend, Bob Redding, however, after he shows up late with alcohol on his breath. She is unaware that he was attempting to assist an alcoholic friend back to the hospital, and his friend slipped liquor into his drinking water. Bob takes an interest in the Wiggs family, and takes Billy to a charitable hospital after finding out he has been sick for some time. Bob then buys tickets for the whole Wiggs family to attend the theater. In the meantime, Miss Tabitha Hazy, a spinster and close friend of Mrs. Wiggs, has selected a husband from a brochure with Mrs. Wiggs's assistance. The Wiggs are thrilled with the show, but their joy is interrupted when Mrs. Wiggs is called to Billy's bedside at the hospital. As she tearfully recounts the highlights of the performance, Billy dies. Touched by the tragedy of her situation, Bob advertises in his newspaper to locate Mr. Wiggs and bring him home. Still in mourning, Mrs. Wiggs helps Miss Hazy elicit a proposal from her demanding suitor, C. Ellsworth Stubbins, who promises that if she can make a good mince pie, he will marry her. Mrs. Wiggs exchanges her excellent cooked pie for Miss Hazy's terrible meal. Stubbins and Miss Hazy are married the next day, and their wedding inspires Lucy and Bob to reconcile. When Mr. Bagby, who holds the mortgage on the Wiggs home, demands final payment from Mrs. Wiggs by noon, Jimmy frantically rushes to Bob, hoping to sell his horse to him for the funds. Mr. Wiggs, responding to Bob's advertisement, slips in through the back door of his home just before noon, and Bob slips the final payment into his pocket. The Wiggs home is saved and their family reunited.

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

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