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The Boob



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Warner Archive DVD, 2009.MGM Silent. 64 minutes (6 reels).

US release: 5/17/26. (Released as "The Yokel" in the UK.)
Warner Archive DVD release: 8/4/09.

Box Office Total Gross: $183,000. (Loss of $30,000.)

Cast: Gertrude Olmstead, George K. Arthur, Joan Crawford (as "Jane," a Prohibition agent), Charles Murray, Antonio D'Algy, Hank Mann, Babe London.

Credits:  Adapted by Kenneth Clarke from the story by George Scarborough and Annette Westbay. Director: William A. Wellman. Titles: Katherine Hiliker and H.H. Caldwell. Camera: William Daniels.


Plot Summaries:  


Peter Good, an idealistic young farmhand, finds that Amy, the girl of his dreams, does not requite his love, and goes forth in search of adventures. He arrives at a roadhouse to which Amy has been brought by Harry Benson, a young city sport wanted by the authorities for bootlegging, and climbs into the car in which Amy is being abducted. A running fight ensues, which ends when the car crashes, slightly bruising all occupants. Harry is taken into custody by dry agents and reconciliation between Amy and Peter follows. ~Studio press book (from AFI listing)


This early William Wellman directorial effort stars George K. Arthur as the title character, an incredibly nave farmhand named Peter Good. Spurned by Amy (Gertrude Olmstead), the girl he loves, Peter sets out to prove that he isn't a boob. He joins a posse hunting for a gang of bootleggers, and sure as shootin' he rounds up the bad guys single-handedly. The film's highlight is an elaborate production number set at a burlesque theater, where scores of contract starlets have their clothes removed with the help of wires and pulleys. Billed third in the cast is Joan Crawford, whom MGM was obviously preparing for bigger and better things. ~Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide



The working title for the film was I'll Tell the World (Film Daily, Variety).


American Film Institute page

IMDb page

TCM article

Wikipedia page


Complete title cards



Critics' Reviews:


Baltimore Sun (1926)

A piece of junk.... The company has simply covered itself with water and become soaking wet, for this tale of a half-dumb boy who turned prohibition agent to convince his girl he had nerve is as wishy-washy as any pail of dishwater.


Film Daily (1926)

The development is of such an episodic nature...that the initial idea is eventually lost in a variety of comedy gags, slapstick and otherwise...


Movies Silently blog (Fritzi Kramer, 2015; read full 1600+ word review with screen shots)

The Boob is a minor comedy from the mid-twenties but it is historically significant for two reasons. First, its an early appearance of Joan Crawford and the last of her second banana roles to be released before her rapid rise to stardom. (It was made when she was just another wannabe but shelved and released once her career was just catching fire.) Second, its the picture that got William Wellman fired from MGM....

The Boob is one of those pictures where a lot of stuff happens but nothing actually gets accomplished. Instead of an actual story or funny gags, we are simply shown a tedious string of skits that dont fit together very well. The Boob is only an hour long but feels twice that length....

In the end, the only performer who escapes this mess unscathed is Joan Crawford. Her time in the film probably totals five minutes (which may be why she was such a success in this turkey) but you can see at once that there is a star in the making. Shes fresh, charming and looks fantastic in her silky duds. I do wish she had looked up at the camera once in a while but you cant have everything....



Our Reviews:

If you've seen The Boob and would like to share your review here, please e-mail me. Feel free to include a star-rating (with 5 stars the best), as well as a photo of yourself to accompany your review and any of your favorite titles from the film.


Reviewer Jon Denson.Jon Denson (December 2007)
Rating: star02_pink_1.gif of 5

The Boob is a picture with no artistic value or emotional resonance. It is purely a slapstick comedy, and will be unsophisticated to modern viewers. It is the story, if it can be called that, of a young man (who, incidentally looks like a boy) who goes to town in order to capture bootleggers. There is a motive for this; the young man's childhood sweetheart has run off with a man suspected of shady dealings, and they frequent a speakeasy called "The Booklovers." There is a neat twist in that booze is poured from decanters in the shape of books, a nice trick to fool those prohibition agents. Joan Crawford is a flapper in this, although she doesn't dance, and her screen time is decidedly short. She does not appear until 30 minutes after the flick has started, and is probably on-screen no more than five minutes over this course of the film. The most that can be said of her performance is that she was beautiful. She is in full 1920s style here, with bob and cupid's bow mouth. Her dress in one scene has elaborate feathers and is quite glamorous. Overall, the picture is a low-rent affair, and its only item of interest is the early (although brief) appearance of Joan Crawford.




Movie Posters:


US poster.       US poster.




Lobby Cards:








Misc. Images:


US herald cover.      Newspaper ad.





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