Words and Music (1929 film)

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Words and Music
Directed by James Tinling
Written by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan (story)
Jack McEdwards (story)
Andrew Bennison
Starring Lois Moran
David Percy
Helen Twelvetrees
Frank Albertson
Music by Con Conrad
Archie Gottler
Sidney D. Mitchell
Dave Stamper
Cinematography Don Anderson
Charles G. Clarke
Charles Van Enger
Edited by Ralph Dixon
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Release date
  • August 18, 1929 (1929-08-18)
Running time
72 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Words and Music is a 1929 American pre-Code musical comedy film, directed by James Tinling, and starring Lois Moran, Helen Twelvetrees, and Frank Albertson. It was written by Andrew Bennison, story by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan and Jack Edwards.

Released by Fox Film Corporation, the film is notable as the first in which John Wayne is credited as "Duke Morrison". Wayne was also credited as "Duke Morrison" as a property assistant in the Art Department. Ward Bond, Wayne’s lifelong good friend, also had a bit part in the movie.


Two young college students, Phil (David Percy) and Pete (John Wayne), compete for the love of pretty girl named Mary (Lois Moran), and also to win the $1500 prize in a song-writing contest to write the best show tune for the annual college revue. The two men each ask Mary to sing for them, but eventually, she chooses Phil as her beau, and it is he who also has the winning song.

Although the film was largely devoid of much plot line, as was typical of musical revue pictures of the period, there is a great deal of singing and dancing. Many of Lois Moran’s numbers were actually footage that was cut from the film Fox Movietone Follies of 1929, which were edited out when the film was found to be too long. This film was created to make use of the deleted scenes, and so was fashioned around Moran’s singing talent. Songs include: "Too Wonderful for Words" (William Kernell, Dave Stamper, Paul Gerard Smith, Edmund Joseph), "Stepping Along" (Kernell), "Shadows" (Con Conrad, Sidney D. Mitchell, Archie Gottler).


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