Don Juan (1926 film)

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Don Juan
DonJuanP.jpg
Directed by Alan Crosland
Produced by Warner Brothers
Written by Maude Fulton (intertitles)
Walter Anthony (intertitles)
Screenplay by Bess Meredyth
Based on Don Juan 
by Lord Byron
Starring John Barrymore
Mary Astor
Warner Oland
Music by William Axt
David Mendoza
Cinematography Byron Haskin
Edited by Harold McCord
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • August 6, 1926 (1926-08-06)
Running time 112 min.
Country United States
Language Silent
English intertitles
Budget $789,963
Box office $1,258,000
First-nighters posing for the camera outside the Warners' Theater before the premiere

Don Juan is a 1926 American romantic adventure/drama film directed by Alan Crosland. It is the first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack, though it has no spoken dialogue.[1] The film is inspired Lord Byron's 1821 epic poem of the same name. The screenplay was written by Bess Meredyth with intertitles by Maude Fulton and Walter Anthony.[2]

Don Juan stars John Barrymore as the hand-kissing womanizer.[2] The film has the most kisses in the film history, with Barrymore kissing 191 different women in the film.[3]

Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

George Groves, on assignment to Vitaphone, was charged with recording the soundtrack to the film. He devised an innovative, multi-microphone technique and performed a live mix of the 107-strong orchestra. In doing so he became the first music mixer in film history.

At the film's premiere, several short sound films were shown before the film began. Will Hays, the then "Czar" and censor of the industry, contributed an on-screen introduction, talking in synchronized sound, greeting everyone in the audience with "Welcome to a new era of motion picture." After the introduction, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra was filmed playing "Tannhäuser", along with violinists Mischa Elman and Efrem Zimbalist Sr., then guitarist Roy Smeck, three opera shorts with Giovanni Martinelli Marion Talley and Anna Case, and then the feature itself.

Reception[edit]

Don Juan's was produced at a cost of $789,963, the largest budget of any Warner Bros. film up to that point. It premiered in New York City on August 6, 1926. The music was played by the New York Philharmonic.

Status and home media release[edit]

A print of Don Juan still survives and is preserved at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.[3] In 2011, the film, along with the original Vitaphone sound shorts, was released on manufactured-on-demand DVD by the Warner Archive Collection.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephens, E. J.; Wanamaker, Marc (2010). Early Warner Bros. Studios. Arcadia Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 0-738-58091-0. 
  2. ^ a b White Munden, Kenneth, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1. University of California Press. p. 195. ISBN 0-520-20969-9. 
  3. ^ a b Don Juan at silentera.com database
  4. ^ Don Juan DVD release at silentera.com

External links[edit]