Frank Tuttle

Sog.: dall’omonimo musical di William Anthony McGuire e Otto Harbach. Scen.: Tom Gibson. F.: Victor Milner. Mus.: Cheerful Willoughby. Int.: Eddie Cantor (Samuel ‘Kid’ Boots), Clara Bow (Clara McCoy), Billie Dove (Eleanore Belmore), Lawrence Gray (Tom Sterling), Natalie Kingston (Carmen Mendoza), Malcolm Waite (Big Boyle). Prod.: Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. DCP. D.: 61’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

At first glance, one might think a film adaptation of a Broadway musical in the silent era would be somewhat pointless, but Kid Boots proves otherwise. Its theatrical run was a rousing success – nearly five hundred performances between 1923-1925 with another thousand road performances after that – and catapulted Ziegfeld favorite Eddie Cantor to national stardom. Cantor played a wily golf caddy/bookie/bootlegger at a swank country club and sang most of the more than twenty-five songs in the show.
In 1925, Paramount purchased the rights to Kid Boots for $75,000, and signed Cantor to reprise the title role for what would be his first motion picture. But rather than cast Cantor’s stage co-star Mary Eaton, the studio assigned Clara Bow, one of its ingénues who was just finishing the film that would make her a star, Mantrap. Kid Boots was extensively re-written and physical comedy added to account for the removal of all the songs; Cantor was now a tailor’s assistant who is eventually forced to hide out at a golf resort, all the while wooing swimming instructor Bow.
From all accounts, Cantor and Bow got along splendidly – he helped hone her comic timing and she taught him how to act for the cameras – and their chemistry pops off the screen. By the time Kid Boots opened, Bow was a major star due to Mantrap, while her next film It would make her a sensation. Kid Boots also launched Cantor’s highly successful career as a movie and radio star; unlike Bow, greater fame awaited him in the talkies.
This 2017 restoration by the Library of Congress combines a nitrate print in its Paramount Collection with a safety fine grain kindly provided by Paramount Pictures. Special thanks to David Stenn for his support.

Mike Mashon

Copy From

Restored in 2017 by Library of Congress from a nitrate print preserved by the Library of Congress and a safety fine grain loaned from Paramount