The Go-Getter (1923)

Comedy | 8 April 1923

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HISTORY

The production was announced as E. H. Griffith’s first directorial assignment for Cosmopolitan Productions by the 25 Oct 1922 Film Daily and 4 Nov 1922 Motion Picture News. Both articles credited writer Doty Hobart with adapting and scenarizing the popular 1921 source novel, The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne, although John Lynch is listed in the Library of Congress Catalog of Copyright Entires, Motion Pictures 1912 – 1939. As noted in the 25 Nov 1922 Exhibitors Herald, the cast featured William J. Sorelle, who had retired from the screen three years earlier, and Fred Santley, who left motion pictures for the legitimate stage in 1911. Principal photography was scheduled to begin in late Oct 1922.
       The 6 Nov 1922 Film Daily stated that Griffith and lead actor T. Roy Barnes had recently scouted locations in Boston, MA, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, MD. Later that month, the 25 Nov 1922 Moving Picture World reported that a realistic hospital set had been created for the production at Cosmopolitan Studios on East 126th Street in New York City. The set was modeled after the nearby Reconstruction Hospital, under the supervision of staff surgeon Dr. William V. Healey. At Griffith’s request, four disabled war veterans under Dr. Healy’s care appeared in the film.
       According to the 25 Nov 1922 Exhibitors Herald, Barnes received flight instruction at Curtiss Field in Mineola, NY, from fellow cast member William J. MacMillan. The 23 Dec 1922 Motion Picture News noted that one of the completed flying scenes depicted a race between “an ...

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The production was announced as E. H. Griffith’s first directorial assignment for Cosmopolitan Productions by the 25 Oct 1922 Film Daily and 4 Nov 1922 Motion Picture News. Both articles credited writer Doty Hobart with adapting and scenarizing the popular 1921 source novel, The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne, although John Lynch is listed in the Library of Congress Catalog of Copyright Entires, Motion Pictures 1912 – 1939. As noted in the 25 Nov 1922 Exhibitors Herald, the cast featured William J. Sorelle, who had retired from the screen three years earlier, and Fred Santley, who left motion pictures for the legitimate stage in 1911. Principal photography was scheduled to begin in late Oct 1922.
       The 6 Nov 1922 Film Daily stated that Griffith and lead actor T. Roy Barnes had recently scouted locations in Boston, MA, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, MD. Later that month, the 25 Nov 1922 Moving Picture World reported that a realistic hospital set had been created for the production at Cosmopolitan Studios on East 126th Street in New York City. The set was modeled after the nearby Reconstruction Hospital, under the supervision of staff surgeon Dr. William V. Healey. At Griffith’s request, four disabled war veterans under Dr. Healy’s care appeared in the film.
       According to the 25 Nov 1922 Exhibitors Herald, Barnes received flight instruction at Curtiss Field in Mineola, NY, from fellow cast member William J. MacMillan. The 23 Dec 1922 Motion Picture News noted that one of the completed flying scenes depicted a race between “an aeroplane and a speeding express train.”
       An item in the 2 Dec 1922 Motion Picture News stated that the company was currently on location in Baltimore. Four weeks later, the 30 Dec 1922 Camera reported that cinematographer Allen Seigler had been engaged to shoot the final scenes. No mention was made of Harold Wenstrom, credited in several sources as director of photography. The 12 Jan 1923 Film Daily included Walter Miller among the cast.
       An article in the 27 Jan 1923 Motion Picture News indicated that production had moved to Universal Studio in Fort Lee, NJ. It was also revealed that filming was delayed for two days while Barnes recovered from a sprained ankle after slipping on an icy sidewalk. The accident followed a fight sequence with co-star Louis Wolheim, from which both actors sustained only mild bruises. According to the Mar 1923 Motion Picture, lead actress Seena Owen was also injured when she was struck by the wing of a Curtiss airplane as it was being assembled in the studio. The completion of principal photography was announced in the 1 Feb 1923 Var. An advertisement for Paramount Pictures in the 23 Jan 1923 Film Daily listed the title as number 17 of the company’s “Super 39” releases for the current season.
       The Go-Getter premiered at the Rialto Theatre in New York City on 8 Apr 1923, with gross receipts of $5,136.15 from the opening day, as stated in the 14 Apr 1923 Exhibitors Herald. A Los Angeles, CA, debut followed at the Metropolitan Theatre during the week of 13 May 1923. Reviews were generally positive, although the 15 Apr 1923 Film Daily suggested cutting the picture to five or six reels to improve the pacing, and the Jul 1923 Motion Picture dismissed the plot as a formulaic rags-to-riches story.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Camera
30 Dec 1922
p. 11
Exhibitors Herald
25 Nov 1922
p. 48, 70
Exhibitors Herald
14 Apr 1923
p. 59
Exhibitors Herald
21 Apr 1923
p. 34
Exhibitors Herald
5 May 1923
p. 50
Film Daily
25 Oct 1922
p. 2
Film Daily
6 Nov 1922
p. 2
Film Daily
12 Jan 1923
p. 4
Film Daily
23 Jan 1923
p. 7
Film Daily
9 Apr 1923
p. 4
Film Daily
15 Apr 1923
p. 20
Motion Picture
Mar 1923
p. 76
Motion Picture
Jul 1923
pp. 56-57
Motion Picture News
4 Nov 1922
p. 2267
Motion Picture News
2 Dec 1922
p. 2834
Motion Picture News
23 Dec 1922
p. 3236
Motion Picture News
27 Jan 1923
p. 482
Motion Picture News
31 Mar 1923
p. 1544
Motion Picture News
21 Apr 1923
p. 1956
Motion Picture News
26 May 1923
p. 2522h
Moving Picture World
25 Nov 1922
p. 332
Screen Opinions
1-15 May 1923
p. 40
Variety
1 Feb 1923
p. 46
Variety
12 Apr 1923
p. 30
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
E. H. Griffith
Dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Scen
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novelette by Peter B. Kyne, The Go-Getter (New York, 1921).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 April 1923
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 8 Apr 1923; Los Angeles opening: week of 13 May 1923
Production Date:
late Oct 1922--late Jan 1923
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Cosmopolitan Productions
4 April 1923
LP18855
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,771
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

After spending two years recovering from his war wounds in a hospital, Bill Peck intends to find success as a salesman for lumber magnate Cappy Ricks. Although Bill is fired for making an unauthorized sale, he redeems himself and is reinstated. Cappy Ricks sees potential in Bill and tests the young salesman by sending him on an unnecessary errand to procure a vase from China. After overcoming many obstacles, Bill completes his mission and becomes manager of the company’s Chinese branch. Along the way, Bill wins the heart and support of Mary ...

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After spending two years recovering from his war wounds in a hospital, Bill Peck intends to find success as a salesman for lumber magnate Cappy Ricks. Although Bill is fired for making an unauthorized sale, he redeems himself and is reinstated. Cappy Ricks sees potential in Bill and tests the young salesman by sending him on an unnecessary errand to procure a vase from China. After overcoming many obstacles, Bill completes his mission and becomes manager of the company’s Chinese branch. Along the way, Bill wins the heart and support of Mary Skinner.

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GENRE
Genre:


Subject

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.