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HISTORY

The title was announced in the 7 Feb 1927 Film Daily as an upcoming release from the Henry Ginsberg Dist. Co. News items in the 17 Mar 1926 Film Daily and the 27 Mar 1926 Motion Picture News had previously referred to the company as the Ginsberg-Kann Prod. Dist. Corp. Listings in the 1 May 1926 and 24 Jul 1926 issues of Motion Picture News indicated that the company had been renamed Sterling Pictures Distributing Corp. within that period. The 9 Mar 1927 Var reported that Sterling hired actor-filmmaker Joe Rock to produce seven pictures by the end of the year, the first of which was In the First Degree.
       The impending start of principal photography at an unspecified West Coast studio was noted in the 12 Mar 1927 Exhibitors Herald. Irving L. Walenstein was credited as “studio contact representative.” Additional cast members included Betty Francisco (25 Mar 1927 Motion Picture News), Trilby Clark and Charles Meaken (20 Mar 1927 Film Daily). The close of production was announced in the 9 Apr 1927 Exhibitors Herald.
       In the First Degree was released on 15 Apr 1927, preceded by a 10 Apr 1927 opening at the Tivoli Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, and followed by a 12 Sep 1927 opening Warner’s Egyptian Theatre in Pasadena, CA. The 7 Sep 1927 Film Daily listed the picture as one of Sterling’s most successful releases to date.
       According to the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Treasures ...

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The title was announced in the 7 Feb 1927 Film Daily as an upcoming release from the Henry Ginsberg Dist. Co. News items in the 17 Mar 1926 Film Daily and the 27 Mar 1926 Motion Picture News had previously referred to the company as the Ginsberg-Kann Prod. Dist. Corp. Listings in the 1 May 1926 and 24 Jul 1926 issues of Motion Picture News indicated that the company had been renamed Sterling Pictures Distributing Corp. within that period. The 9 Mar 1927 Var reported that Sterling hired actor-filmmaker Joe Rock to produce seven pictures by the end of the year, the first of which was In the First Degree.
       The impending start of principal photography at an unspecified West Coast studio was noted in the 12 Mar 1927 Exhibitors Herald. Irving L. Walenstein was credited as “studio contact representative.” Additional cast members included Betty Francisco (25 Mar 1927 Motion Picture News), Trilby Clark and Charles Meaken (20 Mar 1927 Film Daily). The close of production was announced in the 9 Apr 1927 Exhibitors Herald.
       In the First Degree was released on 15 Apr 1927, preceded by a 10 Apr 1927 opening at the Tivoli Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, and followed by a 12 Sep 1927 opening Warner’s Egyptian Theatre in Pasadena, CA. The 7 Sep 1927 Film Daily listed the picture as one of Sterling’s most successful releases to date.
       According to the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Treasures from the Film Archives database, this film is extant.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
25 Dec 1926
p. 16
Exhibitors Herald
12 Mar 1927
p. 46
Exhibitors Herald
19 Mar 1927
p. 43
Exhibitors Herald
9 Apr 1927
p. 59
Film Daily
7 Feb 1926
p. 2
Film Daily
17 Mar 1926
p. 2
Film Daily
20 Mar 1927
---
Film Daily
7 Sep 1927
p. 2
Motion Picture News
27 Mar 1926
p. 1374
Motion Picture News
1 May 1926
p. 2135
Motion Picture News
24 Jul 1926
p. 346
Motion Picture News
25 Mar 1927
p. 1075
MPN Booking Guide
Oct 1927
p. 30
Pasadena Post [Pasadena, CA]
10 Sep 1927
p. 3
Times Union [Brooklyn, NY]
10 Apr 1927
p. 30
Variety
9 Mar 1927
p. 9
Variety
23 Nov 1927
p. 27
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 April 1927
Premiere Information:
Brooklyn, NY, opening: 10 Apr 1927; Pasadena, CA, opening: 12 Sep 1927
Production Date:
Mar 1927
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Sterling Pictures Distributing Corp.
21 April 1927
LP23889
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
5,428
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

John Pendleton, secretary to wealthy stock speculator James Hurd, is in love with his boss’s daughter, Barbara, who is also admired by Philip Stanwood, a rich associate of her father. When Barbara rejects Philip, he enlists James's aid in winning the girl. The speculator refuses until, faced with ruin, he has to accept Philip's financial aid. On the evening of Barbara's engagement, John is sent to get a necklace from her father, taking a gun for protection. Philip’s former mistress, Gladys Hutton, interrupts with accusations and accidentally kills James. Police find John standing over the body and he is convicted of murder on circumstantial evidence. His brother, Jerry, follows Philip and Gladys while John is being prepared for execution. Philip is killed in the ensuing automobile chase, but the dying Gladys confesses the truth. Jerry asks for a stay of execution, freeing Barbara and John to find happiness together. ...

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John Pendleton, secretary to wealthy stock speculator James Hurd, is in love with his boss’s daughter, Barbara, who is also admired by Philip Stanwood, a rich associate of her father. When Barbara rejects Philip, he enlists James's aid in winning the girl. The speculator refuses until, faced with ruin, he has to accept Philip's financial aid. On the evening of Barbara's engagement, John is sent to get a necklace from her father, taking a gun for protection. Philip’s former mistress, Gladys Hutton, interrupts with accusations and accidentally kills James. Police find John standing over the body and he is convicted of murder on circumstantial evidence. His brother, Jerry, follows Philip and Gladys while John is being prepared for execution. Philip is killed in the ensuing automobile chase, but the dying Gladys confesses the truth. Jerry asks for a stay of execution, freeing Barbara and John to find happiness together.

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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.