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6 user

Swing High (1930)

Passed | | Drama, Musical | 18 May 1930 (USA)
To avoid hostilities, Maryan, the ward of Doc May, a medicine show owner, induces Pop Garner, a circus owner, to join forces with her guardian. Doc May and Daphne, his wife, work as clowns;... See full summary »

Director:

Joseph Santley

Writers:

Joseph Santley (photoplay), James Seymour (photoplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Twelvetrees ... Maryan Garner
Fred Scott ... Garry
Dorothy Burgess ... Trixie
John Sheehan ... Doc May
Daphne Pollard ... Mrs. May
George Fawcett ... Pop Garner
Bryant Washburn ... Ringmaster Joe
Nick Stuart ... Billy
Sally Starr ... Ruth
'Little Billy' Rhodes 'Little Billy' Rhodes ... Major Tiny (as Little Billy)
William Hall ... Babe (as William Langan)
Stepin Fetchit ... Sam (as Stepin Fechit)
Chester Conklin ... Sheriff
Ben Turpin ... Bartender
Robert Edeson ... Doctor
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Storyline

To avoid hostilities, Maryan, the ward of Doc May, a medicine show owner, induces Pop Garner, a circus owner, to join forces with her guardian. Doc May and Daphne, his wife, work as clowns; and Garry, a singing soldier of fortune, sings along with Maryan's act. Ruth, Maryan's partner, quits to get married; and Joe, who is jealous of Garry, replaces her with Trixie, his former assistant. When Garry announces his engagement to Maryan, Trixie persuades him to join a strip poker game in a drunken state and "compromises" him in the presence of his fiancée. Grief-stricken, Maryan falls during her act, and Garry, robbed of circus funds, is arrested. In spite of her injuries, Maryan, learning of Trixie's treachery, performs the act with her and forces a confession by threatening to drop her; Garry is released and is welcomed back to the show. Written by lgpurvis655

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ALL TALKING! - ALL MUSIC! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Passed
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

With My Guitar and You
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Mort Harris and Edward Heyman
Music by Ted Snyder
Copyright 1930 by Sherman, Clay & Co.
Performed by Fred Scott (twice)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Quite Hammersteinian
17 March 2014 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

A fairly ambitious Pathe musical from 1930, set in a traveling circus of the 1880s, this one's no neglected masterpiece, but it does show how quickly the talkies were learning to tell stories with, and through, song. A barely-singing Helen Twelvetrees is the put-upon heroine, wooed by nice-but-weak Fred Scott, and threatened by an unscrupulous Dorothy Burgess, who played this kind of part over and over, and well. The emphasis is on how the circus is a real community, an extended family, with good guys and bad guys, and on the strong woman/weak man pairing, and Helen's Cap'n Andy-like protector. I'm guessing Pathe had Show Boat in mind quite a lot when they made this. The songs aren't Kern quality, but they're OK, and there's at least a passing relationship between some of them and the plot. It's more than capably directed by Joseph Santley, nicely shot, and has some fun supporting players, including Stepin Fetchit, who's alternately delightful and cringe-inducing. There's an exciting if predictable climax, and Scott, who later became both a singing cowboy and an opera star, while goofy-looking, partners well with the delicate Ms. Twelvetrees. Among forgotten musicals of 1930, and there are many, this is one of the more impressive.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Grande Atração See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pathé Exchange See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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