Men on Call (1931)

63 or 70 mins | Drama | 18 January 1931

Full page view
HISTORY

According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Schuyler E. Grey, who had "considerable influence with the Coast Guard," gave "suggestions as to background, accessibility of facilities and verity of given incidents," but did not claim "authorship or co-authorship of the manuscript or any of the literary material used as the basis for the final production." Other authors listed in the legal records who worked on scripts for the film, but whose contributions were not in the completed picture, are: George Brooks, Elliot J. Clawson, Tom J. Geraghty , Andrew Bennison, Paul Hervey Fox and Malcolm Stuart Boylan. According to a NYT article, the picture was shot on location in Monterey, CA. Another NYT article reported that newspaperman Patterson McNutt, who became a scriptwriter later in the 1930s, was on the set and offered suggestions during the filming of some of the ... More Less

According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Schuyler E. Grey, who had "considerable influence with the Coast Guard," gave "suggestions as to background, accessibility of facilities and verity of given incidents," but did not claim "authorship or co-authorship of the manuscript or any of the literary material used as the basis for the final production." Other authors listed in the legal records who worked on scripts for the film, but whose contributions were not in the completed picture, are: George Brooks, Elliot J. Clawson, Tom J. Geraghty , Andrew Bennison, Paul Hervey Fox and Malcolm Stuart Boylan. According to a NYT article, the picture was shot on location in Monterey, CA. Another NYT article reported that newspaperman Patterson McNutt, who became a scriptwriter later in the 1930s, was on the set and offered suggestions during the filming of some of the scenes. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
EHW
21 Jun 30
p. 75.
Film Daily
14 Dec 30
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Mar 31
p. 61.
New York Times
22-Jun-30
---
New York Times
13-Jul-30
---
Variety
25 Feb 31
p. 22.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 January 1931
Production Date:
began 4 June 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 November 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1808
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
63 or 70
Length(in feet):
6,050 , 6,331
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Railroad engineer Chuck Long happily tells his friends that he is marrying dancer Helen Gordon the next day, then goes to the theater where Helen works. He arrives while Helen's fellow performers are throwing a party for her, but their merriment is interrupted when a reporter arrives and reveals that Helen, whose real name is Helen Harding, was named as a co-respondent in a scandalous divorce trial six months earlier. Chuck assumes the worst and rushes from the theater without letting Helen explain. She follows him, but by the time she arrives at the railroad yard, Chuck has taken another engine out and left. Thoughts of Helen distract Chuck from his job and he wrecks the train. After he is released from the hospital, Chuck wanders from one job to the next until six months later, he has become a hobo. Cap, a kindhearted Coast Guard captain, meets Chuck in a park, and after Chuck explains that he was reared as a sailor, Cap convinces him to join the Coast Guard to help him forget his bitterness. Over the next three years, Chuck and Cap become fast friends, and Chuck settles into his new life. Chuck periodically receives letters from Helen but destroys them without reading them. One day, Chuck and Cap are crossing the bay when they find a woman in the water. They rescue her from drowning, and Chuck discovers to his horror that she is Helen, although he does not reveal this to Cap. Cap takes her to his cottage, where he looks after her as she regains her strength. A week passes as Helen tries ... +


Railroad engineer Chuck Long happily tells his friends that he is marrying dancer Helen Gordon the next day, then goes to the theater where Helen works. He arrives while Helen's fellow performers are throwing a party for her, but their merriment is interrupted when a reporter arrives and reveals that Helen, whose real name is Helen Harding, was named as a co-respondent in a scandalous divorce trial six months earlier. Chuck assumes the worst and rushes from the theater without letting Helen explain. She follows him, but by the time she arrives at the railroad yard, Chuck has taken another engine out and left. Thoughts of Helen distract Chuck from his job and he wrecks the train. After he is released from the hospital, Chuck wanders from one job to the next until six months later, he has become a hobo. Cap, a kindhearted Coast Guard captain, meets Chuck in a park, and after Chuck explains that he was reared as a sailor, Cap convinces him to join the Coast Guard to help him forget his bitterness. Over the next three years, Chuck and Cap become fast friends, and Chuck settles into his new life. Chuck periodically receives letters from Helen but destroys them without reading them. One day, Chuck and Cap are crossing the bay when they find a woman in the water. They rescue her from drowning, and Chuck discovers to his horror that she is Helen, although he does not reveal this to Cap. Cap takes her to his cottage, where he looks after her as she regains her strength. A week passes as Helen tries to talk to Chuck, who keeps brushing her off. Crushed by Chuck's continual rejection, Helen decides to leave, but agrees to stay when Cap, who is falling in love with her, pleads with her to attend a special annual Coast Guard dance. Angered by Helen's decision, Chuck threatens to reveal her past to Cap if she does not leave. At the dance, Cap proposes to Helen, but their conversation is interrupted by Chuck, who tells Cap that Helen is the girl who "cracked him up." Demanding that Chuck finally hear her out, Helen explains that she was entirely guiltless in the divorce trial, but changed her name to escape the constant prying of tabloid reporters. She further explains that it is not easy for women to get by honestly in life because of men's demands, and that she had thrown herself in the water rather than accept a proposition that "would have made life easy." She bitterly tells Chuck that from then on, she will fulfill the label he has put on her. After she runs away, Cap punches Chuck for being a heel. Soon after, Cap, Chuck and the men answer an alarm summoning them to a burning freighter. Cap is trapped in the hold when he tries to rescue the freighter's captain, and Chuck courageously rescues them both. In the hospital, Cap and Chuck convalesce and patch up their friendship. When Helen, disguised in a borrowed nurse's uniform, sneaks into their room, Chuck pretends not to recognize her and continues telling Cap that he realizes what a sap he was and will never let Helen go again. Helen accepts Chuck's proposal, and as the reunited couple kiss, Cap cheerfully states that he will be Chuck's best man at the wedding. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.