The Ace of Cads (1926)

Romance | 11 October 1926

Director:

Luther Reed

Writer:

Forrest Halsey

Cinematographer:

J. Roy Hunt

Production Company:

Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

On 23 Oct 1925, FD announced that British writer Michael Arlen had arrived in Hollywood, CA, the previous day to begin his new contract at Paramount Picture’s West Coast studio. Arlen’s first assignment was to adapt his short story, “The Ace of Cads,” which appeared in the Jun 1924 edition of Everybody’s Magazine. Arlen expressed reticence about his transition from literature to film in a 31 Oct 1925 Motion Picture News interview, in which he stated that The Ace of Cads script was “as far as I’m willing to go now. I want to learn the rudiments of how pictures are made before I will attempt to write an original screen story.” Forrest Halsey was eventually credited as the scenarist and adaptor of The Ace of Cads.
       By 2 Nov 1925, writer Willis Goldbeck was hired to direct the picture, which would have marked his directorial debut, according to a FD brief published that day. Adolphe Menjou had been cast in the starring role of “Chappel Maturin.” Two days later, a 4 Nov 1925 Var news item announced that production was scheduled to begin 25 Jan 1926, and on 30 Nov 1925, FD reported that Arlen was on his way back to New York City to make arrangements for filming. The 12 Dec 1925 Moving Picture World added that principal photography would take place at the Famous Players’ studio lot in Long Island, NY.
       The project remained on hold until a 3 Feb 1926 Var column reported that Adolphe Menjou, who had ... More Less

On 23 Oct 1925, FD announced that British writer Michael Arlen had arrived in Hollywood, CA, the previous day to begin his new contract at Paramount Picture’s West Coast studio. Arlen’s first assignment was to adapt his short story, “The Ace of Cads,” which appeared in the Jun 1924 edition of Everybody’s Magazine. Arlen expressed reticence about his transition from literature to film in a 31 Oct 1925 Motion Picture News interview, in which he stated that The Ace of Cads script was “as far as I’m willing to go now. I want to learn the rudiments of how pictures are made before I will attempt to write an original screen story.” Forrest Halsey was eventually credited as the scenarist and adaptor of The Ace of Cads.
       By 2 Nov 1925, writer Willis Goldbeck was hired to direct the picture, which would have marked his directorial debut, according to a FD brief published that day. Adolphe Menjou had been cast in the starring role of “Chappel Maturin.” Two days later, a 4 Nov 1925 Var news item announced that production was scheduled to begin 25 Jan 1926, and on 30 Nov 1925, FD reported that Arlen was on his way back to New York City to make arrangements for filming. The 12 Dec 1925 Moving Picture World added that principal photography would take place at the Famous Players’ studio lot in Long Island, NY.
       The project remained on hold until a 3 Feb 1926 Var column reported that Adolphe Menjou, who had recently filed for divorce under allegations against his wife for “cruelty and inhuman treatment,” was expected to return to the Famous Players-Lasky West Coast studio in Los Angeles, CA, to begin production in Mar 1926. At that time, Willis Goldbeck was no longer attached to direct, and Malcolm St. Clair was expected to step in as his replacement. A formal declaration of the switch was made in the 28 Apr 1926 Var, which noted that filming would take place at the Long Island studio, beginning in Jul 1926. On 23 Jun 1926, however, Var reported that St. Clair had left the production, and writer Luther Reed had been hired to direct his first feature film. Although St. Clair and Menjou had been frequent collaborators in the past, they disagreed about the screen story for The Ace of Cads, according to a 7 Jul 1926 Var brief.
       A 28 Jul 1926 Var listing added Lois Moran to the cast as the character “Jean,” but she left the production and was replaced by Clara Bow. By 31 Jul 1926, however, Bow had not completed work on Kid Boots (1926, see entry), and was unable to accept her assignment, as stated in a Motion Picture News item published that day. At the time, principal photography on The Ace of Cads had been underway in Long Island for several weeks, indicating a production start date in mid-Jul 1926. Lucy Fox, Ruby Blaine, and Adolphe Menjou’s brother, Henri Menjou, were listed in the supporting cast. Suzanne Fleming, a Ziegfeld Follies entertainer who was eventually cast in the role of “Jean,” renamed “Joan,” was spotted by Adolphe Menjou during a photoshoot on the Famous Players-Lasky studio lot, according to the Dec 1926 edition of Motion Picture Magazine. Filming was still underway as of 7 Aug 1926, when Motion Picture News reported that French actress Gladys Frazin was shooting scenes in the role of a “Montmarte girl,” and on 21 Aug 1926, the same journal added actresses Jean Acker and Mona Palma.
       Although the picture was planned for a Nov 1926 release, it opened at the Metropolitan Theatre in Los Angeles on 3 Oct 1926, according to a 4 Oct 1926 LAT review which praised Menjou’s acting but questioned the film’s appeal to general audiences, noting: “There is a soberness about the theme, despite the lack of sobriety in many of the scenes, that makes it somewhat dull fare for those who demand a liberal share of humor in their screen entertainment.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
23 Oct 1925.
---
Film Daily
2 Nov 1925
p. 4.
Film Daily
30 Nov 1925
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1926
p. 11.
Motion Picture Magazine
Dec 1926
p. 101.
Motion Picture News
31 Oct 1925
p. 2017.
Motion Picture News
31 Jul 1926
p. 405.
Motion Picture News
7 Aug 1926
p. 495.
Motion Picture News
21 Aug 1926
p. 685.
Moving Picture World
12 Dec 1925
p. 545.
New York Times
18 Oct 1926
p. 18.
New York Times
24 Oct 1926
p. 7.
Variety
4 Nov 1925
p. 30.
Variety
3 Feb 1926
p. 29.
Variety
28 Apr 1926
p. 37.
Variety
28 Apr 1926
p. 43.
Variety
7 Jul 1926
p. 19.
Variety
28 Jul 1926
p. 15.
Variety
7 Aug 1926
p. 4.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Ace of Cads" by Michael Arlen in Everybody's Magazine (Jun 1924).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 October 1926
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 October 1926 at the Metropolitan Theatre
Production Date:
began mid July 1926
Copyright Claimant:
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 October 1926
Copyright Number:
LP24007
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,786
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Chappel Maturin and Basil de Gramercy, officers in the British Guards, are both in love with the same girl. When Basil betrays his friend by having him compromised with another woman, Maturin takes to drink and is discharged from the service as the result of a drunken brawl. Twenty years later, Basil, who married Eleanour, has been killed in the trenches, and Joan, an only child, remains Eleanour's sole interest. Maturin, struck by Joan's resemblance to her mother, falls in love with her, but Sir Guy and Eleanour persuade him to discourage the girl. Maturin, therefore, tells Joan the story of his betrayal by Basil, but he reverses their roles. Joan rightly refuses to believe him a wastrel and effects a reconciliation between Maturin and ... +


Chappel Maturin and Basil de Gramercy, officers in the British Guards, are both in love with the same girl. When Basil betrays his friend by having him compromised with another woman, Maturin takes to drink and is discharged from the service as the result of a drunken brawl. Twenty years later, Basil, who married Eleanour, has been killed in the trenches, and Joan, an only child, remains Eleanour's sole interest. Maturin, struck by Joan's resemblance to her mother, falls in love with her, but Sir Guy and Eleanour persuade him to discourage the girl. Maturin, therefore, tells Joan the story of his betrayal by Basil, but he reverses their roles. Joan rightly refuses to believe him a wastrel and effects a reconciliation between Maturin and Eleanour. +

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.