Double Harness (1933)

70 or 74 mins | Drama | 21 July 1933

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HISTORY

[ Editor's note : Double Harness was not viewed prior to the publication of its entry in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40. This entry was revised after a 2007 viewing of the film. ] HR news items list Betty Furness as a cast member, but she was not identifiable in the print viewed. An HR news item announced that director John Cromwell would also produce the film, but only Merian C. Cooper and Kenneth Macgowan are credited onscreen.
       As recounted in a LAT article in Apr 2007, Double Harness was one of six films that were being broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable station after having not been publicly screened for decades. The other five films included Rafter Romance (1933), One Man's Journey (1933), Stingaree (1934), Living on Love (1937), and A Man to Remember (1938, see entries below). The LAT article and on-air commentaries before the broadcasts of each film related that the rights to the pictures had been in legal limbo since the early 1930s when executive producer Cooper left RKO and received the rights to six of the studio's films. Later, Cooper and a business associate, Ernest L. Scanlon, became embroiled in a dispute that left the films' status ambiguous.
       The LAT article continued that, in Apr 2006, following an inquiry from a curious fan, TCM investigated and eventually learned that 35mm copies of five prints used for television distribution in the 1950s were held within the Merian C. Cooper Collection at the motion ... More Less

[ Editor's note : Double Harness was not viewed prior to the publication of its entry in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40. This entry was revised after a 2007 viewing of the film. ] HR news items list Betty Furness as a cast member, but she was not identifiable in the print viewed. An HR news item announced that director John Cromwell would also produce the film, but only Merian C. Cooper and Kenneth Macgowan are credited onscreen.
       As recounted in a LAT article in Apr 2007, Double Harness was one of six films that were being broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable station after having not been publicly screened for decades. The other five films included Rafter Romance (1933), One Man's Journey (1933), Stingaree (1934), Living on Love (1937), and A Man to Remember (1938, see entries below). The LAT article and on-air commentaries before the broadcasts of each film related that the rights to the pictures had been in legal limbo since the early 1930s when executive producer Cooper left RKO and received the rights to six of the studio's films. Later, Cooper and a business associate, Ernest L. Scanlon, became embroiled in a dispute that left the films' status ambiguous.
       The LAT article continued that, in Apr 2006, following an inquiry from a curious fan, TCM investigated and eventually learned that 35mm copies of five prints used for television distribution in the 1950s were held within the Merian C. Cooper Collection at the motion picture archives at Brigham Young University. The films were subsequently restored and, with the addition of a Dutch copy of the sixth film, A Man to Remember (see below), the package was shown on TCM in Apr 2007. For Double Harness , an additional two-and-half minute sequence that had been cut from the print made for television distribution, was located in a French negative discovered in the National Center for Cinematography in France. The brief segment had been cut because it indicated that the characters of "Joan Colby" and "John Fletcher" were having pre-marital sex. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
HF
20 May 1933
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1933
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 1933
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 1933
p. 11.
International Photographer
1 Jul 1933
p. 39.
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 2007
Calendar, p. 24.
Motion Picture Daily
13 Jul 1933
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Jul 1933
p. 40.
New York Times
21 Jul 1933
p. 20.
Variety
25 Jul 1933
p. 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Cam op
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Settings
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Chief elec
Chief grip
Still photog
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Double Harness by Edward Poor Montgomery (London, 11 Jan 1933).
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 July 1933
Production Date:
began mid May 1933
Copyright Claimant:
RKO-Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
21 July 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4051
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70 or 74
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After her extravagant, irresponsible sister Valerie marries Dennis Moore, Joan Colby sets her sights on John Fletcher, a notorious San Francisco playboy. Joan's old-fashioned father, Colonel Sam Colby, complains that John, who inherited his father's shipping business, is so lazy that he is driving his company into bankruptcy. In spite of the colonel's disapproval, Joan pursues a romance with John and announces to Valerie that, while she does not love John, she intends to marry him. Joan explains to her sister that marriage is the business of women and that love is a complication to be avoided. Although John responds deeply to Joan, whom he regards as "virginal" yet alluring, she worries that he will soon return to his previous lover, Monica Page. While Joan woos the marriage-wary John, Monica begins to telephone him and makes known her desire to rekindle their affair. Consequently, Joan arranges with Valerie to have their father show up at John's apartment one night when she is alone with him. As hoped, the colonel is shocked and demands that John marry Joan immediately. Because Joan is willing, John agrees but, as he explains to Joan on their honeymoon cruise, intends to divorce her after they return to San Francisco and accepts Joan's suggestion that they end the marriage in six months. Two months later, John is already feeling anxious about his "captivity," but tells Joan he appreciates her efforts to make a legitimate businessman out of him. To that end, Joan has arranged with her father to have his friend, Oliver Lane, the postmaster general of the United States, meet John at a dinner party in ... +


After her extravagant, irresponsible sister Valerie marries Dennis Moore, Joan Colby sets her sights on John Fletcher, a notorious San Francisco playboy. Joan's old-fashioned father, Colonel Sam Colby, complains that John, who inherited his father's shipping business, is so lazy that he is driving his company into bankruptcy. In spite of the colonel's disapproval, Joan pursues a romance with John and announces to Valerie that, while she does not love John, she intends to marry him. Joan explains to her sister that marriage is the business of women and that love is a complication to be avoided. Although John responds deeply to Joan, whom he regards as "virginal" yet alluring, she worries that he will soon return to his previous lover, Monica Page. While Joan woos the marriage-wary John, Monica begins to telephone him and makes known her desire to rekindle their affair. Consequently, Joan arranges with Valerie to have their father show up at John's apartment one night when she is alone with him. As hoped, the colonel is shocked and demands that John marry Joan immediately. Because Joan is willing, John agrees but, as he explains to Joan on their honeymoon cruise, intends to divorce her after they return to San Francisco and accepts Joan's suggestion that they end the marriage in six months. Two months later, John is already feeling anxious about his "captivity," but tells Joan he appreciates her efforts to make a legitimate businessman out of him. To that end, Joan has arranged with her father to have his friend, Oliver Lane, the postmaster general of the United States, meet John at a dinner party in the hope that Lane will grant the Fletcher shipping line a profitable government contract. At the same time, Valerie confides in Joan that she needs $1,000 to pay clothing debts but is afraid to ask for the money from Dennis, who has threatened to leave her because her extravagances have repeatedly landed her in debt. Although she refuses to ask John for the money, Joan does agree to pawn her mother's engagement ring to help her sister. When Joan is only able to raise $500 for the ring, Valerie secretly asks John for a loan, lying that she needs $1,000 to cover household expenses because of Dennis' failing business. Overhearing John giving Valerie a check, Joan denounces her sister and demands that she grow up and resolve her financial problems on her own. Furious, Valerie reveals Joan's marriage trick to John, and stricken by the truth, John leaves and goes to the waiting Monica. Joan follows him to Monica's and, after apologizing for her deception, confesses that she has truly fallen in love with him. Joan then returns home, where Lane and her other dinner party guests are waiting. To Joan's delight, Lane agrees to give the absent John his business. Then, just after a drunken but repentant Valerie prepares to tell her husband the truth about her spending, John returns to his devoted wife, bringing her a box of gardenias, her favorite flower, to signify his love. +

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.