Excess Baggage (1928)

72 mins | Comedy-drama | 8 September 1928

Director:

James Cruze

Cinematographer:

Ira Morgan

Editor:

George Hively

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a studio directory in the 26 May 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began on 19 April 1928. Shooting took place at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.’s (M-G-M) studio lot in Culver City, CA. An article in the 15 June 1928 Los Angeles Times reported that M-G-M was planning to use new sound-recording devices in added scenes which were to include one or two songs performed by Kathleen Clifford (“Mabel Ford”), and spoken dialogue from Neely Edwards (“Jimmy Dunn”) and possibly William Haines (“Eddie Kane”). Filmmakers also planned to incorporate sound effects.
       Prior to general release on 8 September 1928, the picture was slated to open at the Loew’s State Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, on 17 August 1928, according to the 13 August 1928 Los Angeles Times. A pre-release review in the 1 July 1928 Los Angeles Times noted that the picture strayed from its source material, John Wesley McGowan’s 1927 play Excess Baggage, by “tracing the lives of the tight-rope walker [Eddie Kane] and his wife before they arrived in Los Angeles.” A number of reviews praised William Haines’s performance as a departure from his usual “smart aleck” comedic roles, and mentioned his character’s high-wire act as a highlight of the film.
       The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included the picture on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of February 2021. ...

More Less

According to a studio directory in the 26 May 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began on 19 April 1928. Shooting took place at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.’s (M-G-M) studio lot in Culver City, CA. An article in the 15 June 1928 Los Angeles Times reported that M-G-M was planning to use new sound-recording devices in added scenes which were to include one or two songs performed by Kathleen Clifford (“Mabel Ford”), and spoken dialogue from Neely Edwards (“Jimmy Dunn”) and possibly William Haines (“Eddie Kane”). Filmmakers also planned to incorporate sound effects.
       Prior to general release on 8 September 1928, the picture was slated to open at the Loew’s State Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, on 17 August 1928, according to the 13 August 1928 Los Angeles Times. A pre-release review in the 1 July 1928 Los Angeles Times noted that the picture strayed from its source material, John Wesley McGowan’s 1927 play Excess Baggage, by “tracing the lives of the tight-rope walker [Eddie Kane] and his wife before they arrived in Los Angeles.” A number of reviews praised William Haines’s performance as a departure from his usual “smart aleck” comedic roles, and mentioned his character’s high-wire act as a highlight of the film.
       The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included the picture on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of February 2021.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
26 May 1928
p. 102
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
20 Oct 1928
---
Film Daily
29 Apr 1928
---
Film Daily
9 Jul 1928
---
Film Daily
30 Sep 1928
---
Life
19 Oct 1928
p. 14
Los Angeles Times
15 Jun 1928
Section A, p. 10
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1928
Section C, p. 13, 20
Los Angeles Times
1 Jul 1928
Section H, p. 4
Los Angeles Times
13 Aug 1928
Section A, p. 7
Motion Picture Classic
Jul 1928
---
Motion Picture Magazine
Aug 1928
---
New York Times
24 Sep 1928
p. 25
Variety
26 Sep 1928
p. 14
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
Titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Settings
COSTUMES
Ward
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Excess Baggage by John Wesley McGowan (New York, 26 Dec 1927).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 September 1928
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 17 Aug 1928
Production Date:
began 19 Apr 1928
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
8 September 1928
LP25612
Physical Properties:
Silent with sound sequences
Sd eff and mus score by Movietone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si.
Duration(in mins):
72
Length(in feet):
7,182
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Eddie Kane, a brash vaudeville juggler and acrobat, falls in love with Elsa McCoy, one of Dunn's Dancing Dames. After they are married, Elsa becomes a success in the movies. Eddie remains in vaudeville and, chafing at his lack of advancement, comes to believe that Elsa has been unfaithful to him with Val D'Errico, a handsome actor. Eddie and Elsa separate, and he takes a bad fall during a high wire act. During a later comeback attempt, Eddie loses his nerve until unexpectedly Elsa appears onstage and assures him of her continuing love and fidelity. Eddie completes his act, and he and Elsa are ...

More Less

Eddie Kane, a brash vaudeville juggler and acrobat, falls in love with Elsa McCoy, one of Dunn's Dancing Dames. After they are married, Elsa becomes a success in the movies. Eddie remains in vaudeville and, chafing at his lack of advancement, comes to believe that Elsa has been unfaithful to him with Val D'Errico, a handsome actor. Eddie and Elsa separate, and he takes a bad fall during a high wire act. During a later comeback attempt, Eddie loses his nerve until unexpectedly Elsa appears onstage and assures him of her continuing love and fidelity. Eddie completes his act, and he and Elsa are reunited.

Less

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.