O'Shaughnessy's Boy (1935)

85 or 87-88 mins | Comedy | 27 September 1935

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HISTORY

According to a DV pre-production news item, this story was purchased by M-G-M three years prior the start of production as a Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery vehicle. In Apr 1935, when it was thought that Beery and Cooper would be unavailable for the film, Metro cast Mickey Rooney in the title role. An early HR pre-production news item named Frank Borzage as the intended director of this film. Modern sources state that Jack Warner of Warner Bros. refused to loan Borzage. Other HR pre-production news items note that Jo Graham worked on the script of this film, that Horace Hough was to assist Boleslawski with direction, that Phoebe Foster and Garry Owen were cast, and that writer William Hurlbut assisted Leonard Praskins with the adaptation of the story. The participation of these collaborators in the final film has not been determined. Although one HR pre-production news item indicated that Donald Ogden Stewart reported for work on the film with Praskins, his specific writing assignment has not been determined. According to a contemporary HR article, just prior to the start of production, M-G-M laid off star Wallace Beery because he failed to show up for work. Beery allegedly stayed away from the set in order to protest his dissatisfaction with the studio over a contract dispute. The article goes on to explain that, after the cast and crew waited for two days for him to show up, M-G-M decided to suspend the star and considered seeking damages. One week later, HR noted Beery's return and indicated that the ... More Less

According to a DV pre-production news item, this story was purchased by M-G-M three years prior the start of production as a Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery vehicle. In Apr 1935, when it was thought that Beery and Cooper would be unavailable for the film, Metro cast Mickey Rooney in the title role. An early HR pre-production news item named Frank Borzage as the intended director of this film. Modern sources state that Jack Warner of Warner Bros. refused to loan Borzage. Other HR pre-production news items note that Jo Graham worked on the script of this film, that Horace Hough was to assist Boleslawski with direction, that Phoebe Foster and Garry Owen were cast, and that writer William Hurlbut assisted Leonard Praskins with the adaptation of the story. The participation of these collaborators in the final film has not been determined. Although one HR pre-production news item indicated that Donald Ogden Stewart reported for work on the film with Praskins, his specific writing assignment has not been determined. According to a contemporary HR article, just prior to the start of production, M-G-M laid off star Wallace Beery because he failed to show up for work. Beery allegedly stayed away from the set in order to protest his dissatisfaction with the studio over a contract dispute. The article goes on to explain that, after the cast and crew waited for two days for him to show up, M-G-M decided to suspend the star and considered seeking damages. One week later, HR noted Beery's return and indicated that the studio promised him a vacation between contracts. A HR pre-release news item indicated that Sam Mintz was assigned to "special script changes." A contemporary NYT article noted that some 150 youngsters were used for the picture, and that one private teacher was assigned to every ten children while the film was in production. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Apr 35
p. 6.
Daily Variety
15 May 35
p. 1.
Daily Variety
22 Jul 35
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Sep 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 34
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 35
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 35
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
28 May 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 35
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 35
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
23 Sep 35
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Jun 35
p. 71.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Oct 35
p. 38.
New York Times
5 Oct 35
p. 14.
Variety
9 Oct 35
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 September 1935
Production Date:
28 May--22 July 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 October 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5854
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85 or 87-88
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1311
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Captain Michael "Windy" O'Shaughnessy, the ace animal trainer in the Hastings Bros. Circus, loves his son "Stubby," but his sister-in-law, Martha Sheilds, convinces his wife Cora, a trapeze artist, that he is not fit to be her husband or the father of her child. Determined to separate Windy from Cora and Stubby, the cruel and prudish Martha arranges to have Cora steal Stubby away from his free-wheeling father and raise him in what she believes will be a more proper environment. When Windy realizes that his son is missing and that all his money has been taken, he single-mindedly devotes himself to finding Stubby. Desperate for extra money to pay for a private investigator to find his son, Windy agrees to perform a dangerous fire trick with a tiger. While in the cage with the tiger, however, Windy is distracted by thoughts of his son, and when the tiger attacks him, he loses his arm. After quitting the circus to search for his son, Windy becomes depressed and spends his days wandering through the streets in a daze. Years later, while riding in a parade, circus owner Hastings spots Windy and tells him that Cora had died in trapeze accident some time ago, and that Stubby has been placed in the care of an orphan's school. Stubby, now a grown boy, has been brainwashed by his aunt to hate his father, so when Windy arrives to take his son for a three-month visit, the boy resists him and cries. Although Windy showers his son with affection, Stubby acts coldly to him and blames him for his mother's death. The sulking Stubby attempts to escape ... +


Captain Michael "Windy" O'Shaughnessy, the ace animal trainer in the Hastings Bros. Circus, loves his son "Stubby," but his sister-in-law, Martha Sheilds, convinces his wife Cora, a trapeze artist, that he is not fit to be her husband or the father of her child. Determined to separate Windy from Cora and Stubby, the cruel and prudish Martha arranges to have Cora steal Stubby away from his free-wheeling father and raise him in what she believes will be a more proper environment. When Windy realizes that his son is missing and that all his money has been taken, he single-mindedly devotes himself to finding Stubby. Desperate for extra money to pay for a private investigator to find his son, Windy agrees to perform a dangerous fire trick with a tiger. While in the cage with the tiger, however, Windy is distracted by thoughts of his son, and when the tiger attacks him, he loses his arm. After quitting the circus to search for his son, Windy becomes depressed and spends his days wandering through the streets in a daze. Years later, while riding in a parade, circus owner Hastings spots Windy and tells him that Cora had died in trapeze accident some time ago, and that Stubby has been placed in the care of an orphan's school. Stubby, now a grown boy, has been brainwashed by his aunt to hate his father, so when Windy arrives to take his son for a three-month visit, the boy resists him and cries. Although Windy showers his son with affection, Stubby acts coldly to him and blames him for his mother's death. The sulking Stubby attempts to escape from his father while traveling on a train, but Windy catches up with him and insists on knowing why he is so upset. In their discussion, Windy discovers that Martha has told Stubby many lies about him. Windy sets the boy straight and gradually gains the boy's acceptance and love. Time passes, and while Windy finds work doing odd jobs at the circus, Martha busily seeks legal recourse to get Stubby out of his father's custody. Major Winslow, Stubby's school principal, agrees with Martha's efforts to regain custody of the boy, and tells her that she is sure to succeed because of Windy's inability to hold down a steady job. Windy, meanwhile, pleads with Hastings to be allowed to return to his tiger act. With Stubby at his side, Windy gains enough confidence to make a successful comeback. Just prior to the animal trainer's big act, however, Martha arrives and forces Stubby to pack his bags for the journey home with her. Windy argues with Martha, but fails to resolve the situation before he is called to perform. However, when Stubby hears the roar of the crowd under the big top, he tears away from Martha and rushes to check on his father's safety. Stubby's presence gives Windy the confidence he needs to complete his fire trick, and following a superb performance, Stubby proudly insists on staying with his father. +

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.