Fanny Foley Herself

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Fanny Foley Herself (1931)
Directed by Melville W. Brown
Produced by John E. Burch
Written by Bernard Schubert
Carey Wilson
based on the story by
Juliet Wilbur Tompkins
Starring Edna May Oliver
Helen Chandler
Hobart Bosworth
John Darrow
Rochelle Hudson
Robert Emmett O'Connor
Florence Roberts
Harry Stubbs
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Ray Rennahan (Technicolor)
RKO Radio Pictures
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) October 10, 1931
Running time 73 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

Fanny Foley Herself is a 1931 American comedy-drama film that was shot entirely in Technicolor. The film was the second feature to be filmed using a new Technicolor process which removed grain and resulted in a much improved color. It was released under the title Top of the Bill in Britain.


Edna May Oliver plays a widowed woman with two daughters (Helen Chandler, Rochelle Hudson) who attempts to revive her career as a vaudeville performer. Her wealthy father-in-law, who believes that a vaudeville performer is not fit to bring up children properly, forces her to choose between her daughters or her career. In the end, all is forgiven and the father-in-law asks Fanny to sing one of her songs.

Production background[edit]

  • The color work was universally praised by reviewers.
  • As a result of the quality of the color work in The Runaround (1931), Radio Pictures decided to produce three more pictures in the improved Technicolor process.[1] Only Fanny Foley Herself was completed and released in Technicolor. The titles of the two other features were Marcheta and Bird of Paradise. Marcheta seems to have been abandoned, while Bird of Paradise was changed into a black-and-white production starring Dolores Del Rio.
  • This was Edna May Oliver's first appearance in color. She would only appear in color once more, in the 1939 film Drums Along the Mohawk. She did not appear in the Technicolor sequences of The American Venus (1926).
  • This was Helen Chandler's only appearance in a color film. She did not appear in the color sequences of Radio Parade of 1935 (1934). She may have appeared in the color sequences of the silent film The Joy Girl (1927). This film, rumored to exist at the Museum of Modern Art, is unavailable for inspection.

Preservation status[edit]

The film is now considered to be a lost film. No elements of the film or the soundtrack are known to exist.


  1. ^ Los Angeles Times; September 13, 1931; Page B13.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]