Loose Ankles

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Loose Ankles
Loose Ankles 1930 Poster.jpg
Directed by Ted Wilde
Produced by Warner Brothers
Written by Sam Janney (play)
Gene Towne
Starring Loretta Young
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Music by Jack Meskill
Pete Wendling
Leo F. Forbstein
Cecil Copping
Alois Reiser
Cinematography Arthur L. Todd
Distributed by First National Pictures
Release dates
  • February 2, 1930 (1930-02-02)
Running time
66-69 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Loose Ankles (1930) is an all-talking pre-code romantic comedy with songs produced and released by First National Pictures, a subsidiary of Warner Bros.. The film was directed by Ted Wilde and starred Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Louise Fazenda and Edward Nugent. It was a remake of the 1926 silent film entitled Ladies At Play which had also been produced by First National Pictures. Both versions were adapted by Gene Towne from a play entitled Loose Ankles by Sam Janney.[1] [2] The songs for the 1930 version were written by Jack Meskill and Pete Wendling while the dances were staged by Roy Mack.


Loretta Young, a young socialite, receives an inheritance of one million dollars from her deceased grandmother. The will stipulates, however, that she will only receive the money after she has been married to someone who meets with the approval of her two prudish aunts (Louise Fazenda and Ethel Wales). The will also stipulates that everyone will lose their inheritance if a scandal involving Young occurs before she is married. In the case of a scandal, the entire estate will be donated to an organization for the welfare of cats and dogs. Young, who is furious at being denied the right to marry who she pleases, decides to create a scandal. She advertises in the paper for an unscrupulous man to compromise her. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. answers the ad and arrives at Young's apartment. In order to make the affair as scandalous as possible, Young's maid asks Fairbanks to remove his clothing. Before the newspaper men arrive, Young's two aunts show up and they attempt to forced Fairbanks to marry their niece. Fairbanks, not wanting to force Young into marry, jumps out the window with nothing on but a woman's robe. By this time, Young and Fairbanks, though they had only spent a short time together, had already fallen in love. Raymond Keane, room-mate to Fairbanks, becomes interested when Fairbanks tells him what happened with Young. He decides to try to get Young to marry him in order to get a part of her fortune. He takes Young to a nightclub called the Circus Cafe. While there Young meets Fairbanks and her two aunts, who are being escorted by two gigolos (two other room-mates of Fairbanks), who have come to spy on their niece. The aunts become drunk through the machinations of the gigolos and when the club is raided they manage to escape with their aid. Young blackmails her aunts into consenting to her marriage with Fairbanks, threatening to expose their scandalous behaviour at the nightclub if they don't. This leaves Young and Fairbanks free to pursue their romance.



  • "Loose Ankles" (Theme Song; Sung by Inez Courtney)
  • "Whoopin' It Up"


This film survives intact and has been shown on Turner Classic Movies and is also preserved in the Library of Congress.[3] In early 2012, it was released on DVD by Warner Archive in a double bill with The Naughty Flirt starring Alice White.


  1. ^ Sam Janney 1892-1929
  2. ^ Loose Ankles a Broadway play at Biltmore Theatre Aug. 1926-Jan. 1927
  3. ^ The American Film Institute, Catalog of Films 1921-30 c. 1971 by The American Film Institute

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