Vintage original 8x10 in. US single-weight glossy photograph from the post-WWI themed silent film comedy, BUCK PRIVATES, released in 1928 by Universal Pictures and directed by Melville W. Brown. Based upon a story by Stuart N. Lake, Pvt. Smith (Malcolm McGregor), an American soldier stationed in a German town during the occupation of Germany after World War I, falls in love with the daughter (Lya De Putti) of the town's leading citizen. The problem is that his sworn enemy, Sgt. Butts (Eddie Gribbon), also has designs on the girl. Butts comes up with a plan to get rid of his competition and get the girl for himself, but things don't go quite the way he planned. The cast includes Zasu Pitts, James A. Marcus, Taylor N. Duncan, Bud Jamison, and Les Bates.The image features a beautiful exterior long shot of Hulda (Zasu Pitts) holding her shopping basket as she leans against the arch of a gate as she looks lost in thought. It is in near-fine.
*"Buck Privates is a 1928 American silent comedy film directed by Melville W. Brown and starring Lya De Putti, Malcolm McGregor and Zasu Pitts. Two American soldiers serving as part of the Allied Occupation Forces in Germany after World War I fall in love with the daughter of the local mayor and engage in a series of battles to win her heart."
*"An item in the 20 May 1927 Motion Picture News announced the casting of Hungarian actress Lya De Putti, and identified story writer Lieut. Stuart N. Lake as a former newspaper writer and army officer. Lake’s original story for Buck Privates was titled “Let’s Go Home,” according to the 30 Jan 1928 [Brooklyn, NY] Standard Union. The 20 May 1927 Film Daily stated that filming would begin the next week. An item in the 9 Sep 1927 Motion Picture News reported that Buck Privates was the second of three American films De Putti had contracted to make with Universal Pictures Corp., following Midnight Rose (1928).
After the completion of the third (unnamed) production, De Putti planned to travel to Germany to act in a Phoebus Films picture. Robert Fischer was listed as a cast member, and Robert Wyler as the unit production supervisor, in the 22 May 1927 and 11 Jul 1927 issues of Film Daily. An item in the 30 Jun 1927 Film Daily announced that production had recently ended. Editing followed at Universal’s studio in Universal City, CA, where filming likely took place.
A premiere at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA, occurred sometime in early or mid-Aug 1927, according to the 20 Aug 1927 Exhibitors Herald, which noted that a general release was not scheduled to take place until Apr 1928. Soon after, the 27 Aug 1927 Exhibitors Heraldlisted a 6 Nov 1927 release date. However, the film likely did not open prior to its New York City release on 29 Jan 1928. Shortly before, a free preview screening in Memphis, TN, was attended by 3,000 viewers, according to an item in the 22 Jan 1928 Film Daily, which reported that the film had accidentally been projected backwards, with the right side of the image appearing on the left side of the screen.
According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant."
*(source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films)
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