Are You There? (1931)

60 mins | Comedy | 3 May 1931

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HISTORY

The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection in the UCLA Theater Arts Library. According to Har , Fox originally announced that it would release this film on 14 Dec 1930, then changed the date to 30 Nov and subsequently withdrew the film from release. An exhibitor from Texas wrote to Har , complaining that the paper did not review the film and thus overlooked "the worst lemon of the season." Editor and publisher P. S. Harrison then contacted the Fox front office, and he "was informed that the picture is being released only for small theatres and not for first run accounts." Subsequent to this, a national release date of 3 May 1931 was listed in a Fox trade paper advertising billing sheet and in MPH release charts. The film may have had been exhibited in 1930, and it was included in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 (F2.0163). Var commented in their review of a 10 Jul 1931 showing in New York, "Made so long ago it's too bad Fox could not have forgotten it forever....So bad it looks and sounds as though made in ... More Less

The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection in the UCLA Theater Arts Library. According to Har , Fox originally announced that it would release this film on 14 Dec 1930, then changed the date to 30 Nov and subsequently withdrew the film from release. An exhibitor from Texas wrote to Har , complaining that the paper did not review the film and thus overlooked "the worst lemon of the season." Editor and publisher P. S. Harrison then contacted the Fox front office, and he "was informed that the picture is being released only for small theatres and not for first run accounts." Subsequent to this, a national release date of 3 May 1931 was listed in a Fox trade paper advertising billing sheet and in MPH release charts. The film may have had been exhibited in 1930, and it was included in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 (F2.0163). Var commented in their review of a 10 Jul 1931 showing in New York, "Made so long ago it's too bad Fox could not have forgotten it forever....So bad it looks and sounds as though made in England." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Harrison's Reports
21 Feb 31
p. 30.
Variety
14-Jul-31
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITER
Story and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Settings
Settings
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Choral dir
DANCE
Dances staged by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Lady Detectives," "You Can Always Count on Me," "The Queen of the Hunt Am I," "It Must Be the Iron in the Spinach" and "Bagdad Daddies," words by Grace Henry, music by Morris Hamilton
"Advice to Love," Russian folk song.
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 May 1931
Production Date:
began 14 April 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 October 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1701
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60
Length(in feet):
5,000
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Fearing that his father, the Duke of St. Pancras, is about to marry a "pseudo-Russian countess," Lord Geoffry Troon seeks the help of female detective Shirley Travis against the advice of his fiancée, Barbara Blythe. Shirley agrees to take the case and arranges to meet the duke that evening, when she will be disguised as the famous hunter, Lady Diana Drummond. At his castle, the duke excitedly prepares for Lady Diana's visit, while Countess Helenka tries to flirt with him. Later that evening, Shirley entertains the duke by telling hunting stories. Meanwhile, Helenka and her cohort in crime, von Dittersdoff, plan to trick "Lady Diana," when they suspect that she is an impostor. The real Lady Diana is reputed to be an expert horseman, unlike Shirley, who they know has never been on a horse. When they suggest that she join their hunting party the next morning, Shirley, in order to preserve her disguise, is forced to go along. While the others are asleep, Shirley tries to get the stableboy, Robert, to show her how to ride. Realizing that the duke is smitten with "Lady Diana," Helenka decides to make advances toward Geoffry, and she and von Dittersdoff finalize their plans for holding up the guests at the gala dinner which is to follow the hunt. The next morning, Shirley is given a mount, Bullet, that is too strong for her. The horse tears off, drags her through brush and throws her. The fox being pursued then lands in her lap, as the rest of the party looks on in amazement. When the duke learns that Lady Diana is married, ... +


Fearing that his father, the Duke of St. Pancras, is about to marry a "pseudo-Russian countess," Lord Geoffry Troon seeks the help of female detective Shirley Travis against the advice of his fiancée, Barbara Blythe. Shirley agrees to take the case and arranges to meet the duke that evening, when she will be disguised as the famous hunter, Lady Diana Drummond. At his castle, the duke excitedly prepares for Lady Diana's visit, while Countess Helenka tries to flirt with him. Later that evening, Shirley entertains the duke by telling hunting stories. Meanwhile, Helenka and her cohort in crime, von Dittersdoff, plan to trick "Lady Diana," when they suspect that she is an impostor. The real Lady Diana is reputed to be an expert horseman, unlike Shirley, who they know has never been on a horse. When they suggest that she join their hunting party the next morning, Shirley, in order to preserve her disguise, is forced to go along. While the others are asleep, Shirley tries to get the stableboy, Robert, to show her how to ride. Realizing that the duke is smitten with "Lady Diana," Helenka decides to make advances toward Geoffry, and she and von Dittersdoff finalize their plans for holding up the guests at the gala dinner which is to follow the hunt. The next morning, Shirley is given a mount, Bullet, that is too strong for her. The horse tears off, drags her through brush and throws her. The fox being pursued then lands in her lap, as the rest of the party looks on in amazement. When the duke learns that Lady Diana is married, he plans to propose to Helenka and announce their engagement at the party, but he is unable to do so because Helenka feels too ill to have company, as she suffered a fall during the hunt. At the same time, Shirley and Geoffry plan to collect evidence against Helenka; while Shirley, disguised as a nurse, busies herself in Helenka's bath, Geoffry will make love to Helenka, and Shirley will be able to overhear them. Von Dittersdoff and his gang, however, have plans of their own, and they kidnap Shirley and hide her in a house so that Helenka can compromise Geoffry. A page, who noticed Shirley being spirited away, mentions the event to Robert, and he rushes to save her. When she returns to the party, Shirley bungles the thieves' robbery plans by performing an Oriental dance number and then goes on to expose Helenka as a Russian dancer from the Folies Bergère. When the duke finds out that Shirley is a detective and not Lady Diana, he proposes to her. After accepting, she almost sits down on a tiara that was left in the seat of her chair, and the duke gallantly places it on her head while the guests applaud. +

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.