Isn't Life Wonderful (1924)

Romance | 1 December 1924

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HISTORY

Production was completed under the working title The Dawn. According to the 12 Jul 1924 Moving Picture World, exteriors were filmed Germany, with additional locations possibly planned in England. An 18 Jul 1924 FD item indicated that director D. W. Griffith shot the picture using innovative, no-heat lighting technology developed in Europe. Upon the cast and crew’s return from to the U.S., the 21 Sep 1924 FD reported that several more weeks of filming were set to take place at Griffith’s studios in Mamaroneck, NY.
       Despite Griffith’s status as a filmmaker, the 21 Nov 1924 FD reported that no Broadway theaters were available to debut the picture before Mar 1925. As a result, Isn’t Life Wonderful opened at New York City’s Rivoli Theatre the week of 30 Nov ... More Less

Production was completed under the working title The Dawn. According to the 12 Jul 1924 Moving Picture World, exteriors were filmed Germany, with additional locations possibly planned in England. An 18 Jul 1924 FD item indicated that director D. W. Griffith shot the picture using innovative, no-heat lighting technology developed in Europe. Upon the cast and crew’s return from to the U.S., the 21 Sep 1924 FD reported that several more weeks of filming were set to take place at Griffith’s studios in Mamaroneck, NY.
       Despite Griffith’s status as a filmmaker, the 21 Nov 1924 FD reported that no Broadway theaters were available to debut the picture before Mar 1925. As a result, Isn’t Life Wonderful opened at New York City’s Rivoli Theatre the week of 30 Nov 1924. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
18 Jul 1924
p. 2.
Film Daily
21 Sep 1924.
---
Film Daily
21 Nov 1924.
---
Moving Picture World
12 Jul 1924
p. 98.
New York Times
1 Dec 1924
p. 17.
Variety
3 Dec 1924
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Isn't Life Wonderful " by Geoffrey Moss in Defeat (New York, 1924).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Dawn
Release Date:
1 December 1924
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists
Copyright Date:
1 February 1925
Copyright Number:
LP21265
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
8,600
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Orphaned by the war, Inga, a Polish refugee, lives in Berlin with a professor and his family--an old grandmother, the professor's sister, and a son, Theodor. Another son, Paul, Inga's sweetheart, is still at the battlefront. Near starvation and living in cramped quarters, they show with weary faces the hardships they have endured. The professor takes a job correcting papers, and Theodor becomes a waiter. Paul returns, weakened from the war. He begins to work in a shipyard while Inga works in a shop, but he falls ill. During his convalescence, Paul and Inga decide to marry, although the family discourages them, pointing out the lack of money, inadequate housing, and the declining value of the mark. Paul procures a piece of land and secretly grows potatoes and builds a cottage, while Inga prepares her dowry by mending furniture in a secondhand shop. When the potatoes are ready to be harvested Paul brings some home, and with the liverwurst Theodor has brought, they have a feast. Grandmother brings out a wedding gown she has made for Inga. The next day Paul and Inga take a cart to harvest the potatoes. As they are returning, a group of hungry, desperate men attack them in the woods and take the crop. The couple are disconsolate, but they are comforted by the knowledge that they still have each other. In an appended ending "one year later" the couple are shown prospering in their new ... +


Orphaned by the war, Inga, a Polish refugee, lives in Berlin with a professor and his family--an old grandmother, the professor's sister, and a son, Theodor. Another son, Paul, Inga's sweetheart, is still at the battlefront. Near starvation and living in cramped quarters, they show with weary faces the hardships they have endured. The professor takes a job correcting papers, and Theodor becomes a waiter. Paul returns, weakened from the war. He begins to work in a shipyard while Inga works in a shop, but he falls ill. During his convalescence, Paul and Inga decide to marry, although the family discourages them, pointing out the lack of money, inadequate housing, and the declining value of the mark. Paul procures a piece of land and secretly grows potatoes and builds a cottage, while Inga prepares her dowry by mending furniture in a secondhand shop. When the potatoes are ready to be harvested Paul brings some home, and with the liverwurst Theodor has brought, they have a feast. Grandmother brings out a wedding gown she has made for Inga. The next day Paul and Inga take a cart to harvest the potatoes. As they are returning, a group of hungry, desperate men attack them in the woods and take the crop. The couple are disconsolate, but they are comforted by the knowledge that they still have each other. In an appended ending "one year later" the couple are shown prospering in their new cottage. +

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.