Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> WILLIAM S. HART

New Colonial Theatre (Beach Haven, N.J.) Program, Week of 7-28-1924.
Featuring William S. Hart in "Singer Jim McKee."


SINGER JIM McKEE

thumbnail

thumbnail

thumbnail

Theater Program 1924


New Colonial Theatre, N.J. Click to enlarge.

William S. Hart was the big attraction for the week of July 28, 1924, at the New Colonial Theatre in Beach Haven, N.J. The teater was playing "Singer Jim McKee," which it billed as "a drama alive with action." Little did anyone know it would contribute to the death of Hart's film career. It was, after all, "possibly [the] worst film the cowboy star ever made," according to biographer Ronald L. Davis (2003:180). He wrote the scenario (story) himself. The plot was incoherent, Davis writes, and Hart was too old to woo a damsel 30 years younger believably. It would prove to be his penultimate picture.

Released March 3, 1924, with a New York premiere on March 23 (not sure how that worked), "Singer Jim McKee" would still have been in its first run in New Jersey in July. The New Colonial Theatre was just two years old, having replaced an earlier, smaller Colonial Theatre in a different location when it opened its doors July 4, 1922.

"Singer Jim McKee" was on the ticket for Saturday night at the New Colonial (August 2, 1924). A different picture played every night, two showings each, Sundays dark. Earlier in the week, audiences caught Buster Keaton in his first feature-length comedy, "Three Ages" (Metro Pictures 1923).


About "Singer Jim McKee."

From Koszarski (1980:131):

Produced by the William S. Hart Company; presented by Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky; distributed by Paramount; New York premiere March 23, 1924; released March 3, 1924; ©February 1, 1924; seven reels (7098 feet, later 6900 feet).

Directed by Clifford S. Smith; screenplay by J.G. Hawks from a story by William S. Hart; photographed by Dwight Warren and Arthur Reeves; edited by William Shea.

Print sources: LC; MoMA.

CAST: William S. Hart (Singer Jim McKee); Phyllis Haver (Mary Holden); Gordon Russell (Buck Holden); Edward Coxen (Hamlin Glass, Jr.); William Dyer (Hamlin Glass, Sr.); Bertholde Sprotte (Dan Gleason); Patsy Ruth Miller (Betty Gleason); George Siegmann ("Brute" Bernstein); Baby Turner (Mary, as a baby).

SYNOPSIS: High up in the mountains, "Singer Jim" and his pal Buck are disconsolate because their mine turns out to be worthless. In an old cabin they find the disguise of a notorious bandit, and in desperation to obtain money for his motherless daughter, Buck holds up a stage coach and Jim helps him. The posse trails them. Jim, with the baby, makes a getaway, but Buck is killed by the sheriff. Years later, the girl has grown to womanhood, but at a dance she is shamed by her clothes not being like the others. Jim again figures on taking a chance and robs a stage coach. Giving the money to the girl Mary, she goes to a bank and by the numbers of the bills the money is identified. The banker's son holds her and attempts to attack her. She phones for aid, and with the help of the sheriff Jim arrives in time, but he is caught, accused of the old murder of his pal by the bank president, who was the ex-sheriff, and is sent to prison. After serving his term, Jim, sore on humanity, goes back to the hills. Mary in the meantime learns the truth, and, realizing she loves Jim, goes into the hills and finds him. [Moving Picture World, April 12, 1924]

REVIEWS: Hart [is] a far better actor than author — his latest story [is] a sickly sentimental and soft affair that gives [the] star too much mushing and too little action. ... [This] may please his loyal following ... but those who want the fightin' Bill Hart of old won't think much of this kind of business. Singer Jim McKee, while it gives the star unlimited opportunities for heroics and acts of sacrifice, is overburdened with sentiment. Hart plays around with baby booties, caresses his partner after the latter knocks him down, fondles a parrot, a calf and what-not, besides any number of loving scenes. ... His saddle and horse are sadly neglected. Naturally there is a romantic ending with Bill marrying his adopted child, though according to the lapse in time, he must be much more than twice as old as she is. [Wid's, March 30, 1924]

A typical Bill Hart vehicle, giving our hero a chance to emote over his Pinto pony, to fight a mob single-handed and to prove to one woman that he is one of Nature's noblemen. This is not unlike the last Hart effort, Wild Bill Hickok, in spots. Reminiscent is the moment when Bill — clad in a white shirt — stands up before a firing crowd and manages to stay in one piece. [Photoplay, June 1924]


LW3458: pdf of original program book purchased 2018 by Leon Worden. Download individual pages here.
HART CATEGORIES:
• Stage Career
• Hart Films
• Publicity Photos
• Hart as Author
• WWI War Bonds
• Hart Mansion
• Hart in Retirement
• Personal Life
• Hart in Artwork

WILLIAM S. HART FILMS

WATCH FULL MOVIES
Keno Bates, Liar (1915)
Knight of the Trail (1915)
The Ruse (1915)
The Cradle of Courage (1920)
White Oak (1921)
Tumbleweeds (1925/1939)
ALSO:
Farewell to the Screen, from Tumbleweeds Re-release (1939)


thumbnail

Biography
(Mitchell 1955)

thumbnail

Biography
(Conlon/McCallum 1960)

Essay: The Good Bad Man (Griffith & Mayer 1957)


thumbnail

Film Bio, Russia 1926

thumbnail

The Disciple 1915/1923

thumbnail

The Captive God 1916 x2

thumbnail

The Aryan 1916 x2

thumbnail

The Primal Lure 1916

thumbnail

The Apostle of Vengeance (Mult.)

thumbnail

Return of Draw Egan 1916 x2

thumbnail

Truthful Tulliver 1917

thumbnail

The Gun Fighter 1917 Theater Invoice

thumbnail

Wolf Lowry 1917

thumbnail

The Narrow Trail 1917 (mult.)

thumbnail

Riddle Gawne 1918 x2

thumbnail

"A Bullet for Berlin" 1918 (4th Series)

thumbnail

The Border Wireless 9-29-1918 Rialto Premiere

thumbnail

Branding Broadway 1918 x2

thumbnail

Breed of Men 2-2-1919 Rivoli Premiere

thumbnail

The Poppy Girl's Husband 3-23-1919 Rivoli Premiere

thumbnail

The Money Corral 4-20-1919 Rialto Premiere

thumbnail

Square Deal Sanderson 1919

thumbnail

Wagon Tracks 1919 x2

thumbnail

Sand 1920 Lantern Slide Image

thumbnail

The Toll Gate 1920 x3

thumbnail

The Cradle of Courage 1920

thumbnail

The Testing Block 1920: Slides, Lobby Cards, Photos (Multiple)

thumbnail

O'Malley/Mounted 1921 (Mult.)

thumbnail

The Whistle 1921 (Mult.)

thumbnail

White Oak 1921 (Mult.)

thumbnail

Travelin' On 1921/22

thumbnail

Three Word Brand 1921

thumbnail

Wild Bill Hickok 1923 x2

thumbnail

Singer Jim McKee 1924 (Mult.)

thumbnail

"Tumbleweeds" 1925/1939

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply
comments powered by Disqus