B&W : Eight reels / 8571 feet / 85 minutes
Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Cast: George Bancroft [‘Thunderbolt’ Jim Lang], Fay Wray [‘Ritzy’ Mary], Richard Arlen [Bob Morgan], Tully Marshall [the warden], Eugenie Besserer [Mrs. Morgan], James Spottswood [Snapper O’Shea], Fred Kohler [‘Bad’ Al Friedberg], Mike Donlin [Kentucky Sampson], E.H. Calvert [District Attorney McKay], George Irving [Mr. Corwin], Robert Elliott [the prison chaplain], S.S. Stewart [negro convict], William L. Thorne [police inspector], Elmer Ballard, King Tut
Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation production; distributed by Paramount Pictures Corporation. / Associate producer, B.P. Fineman. Screenplay by Charles Furthman, with dialogue by Herman J. Mankiewicz, from a screen story by Jules Furthman and Charles Furthman. Production design by Hans Dreier. Songs “Thinkin’ About My Baby” and “Daddy Won’t You Please Come Home” by Sam Coslow (music and lyrics) + [Karl Hajos]. Cinematography by Henry W. Gerrard. Sound recording engineer, M.M. Paggi. Intertitles by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Edited by Helen Lewis. / © 20 June 1929 by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation [LP487]. Released 22 June 1929. / [?] Movietone 35mm spherical 1.20:1 format and/or Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format? Western Electric Movietone sound-on-film sound system. / The film was also released in the USA in a silent version at 7311 feet. [?] Website-IMDb lists Josef von Sternberg as a writer on the film. [?] Parish-Gangster p. 392 lists the film’s runtime as 95 minutes. / Full-sound film.
Synopsis: Synopsis available in AFI-F2 n. F2.5703.
Survival status: Prints exist in the UCLA Film and Television Archive film archive [two 35mm positives].
Current rights holder: (unknown)
Keywords: Criminals - Death Row - Law: Enforcement (Police: Detectives), Judicial (District attorneys) - Nightclubs - Prison - Synchronized sound film - USA: New York: New York - Wardens
Listing updated: 4 October 2014.
References: AFI-F2 n. F2.5703; Everson-Detective p. 110; Katchmer-Eighty pp. 10, 12; Limbacher-Feature p. 251; Parish-Gangster pp. 33, 392-393, 400; Ryall-Blackmail p. 10; Sarris-Sternberg pp. 8, 16, 23-24; Sklar-Movie p. 179; Vermilye-Twenties p. 186 : Website-AFI; Website-IMDb.
Home video: DVD.