IMDb > Burning Up (1930)

Burning Up (1930) More at IMDbPro »

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Grover Jones (story) and
William Slavens McNutt (story) ...
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Release Date:
1 February 1930 (USA) See more »
Sets new records for thrills and love in this smile-a-minute racing romance! (original poster)
Racecar-driver Lou Larrigan gets mixed up with a crooked gang of racetrack promoters, and is in love with Ruth Morgan, whose father is marked as a victim by the gang. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Burning Up? You, if you paid to see this... See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)

Richard Arlen ... Lou Larrigan

Mary Brian ... Ruth Morgan

Francis McDonald ... 'Bullet' McGhan

Sam Hardy ... Windy 'Wally' Wallace

Charles Sellon ... James R. Morgan

Tully Marshall ... Dave Gentry
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Irving Bacon ... Yokel Driver (uncredited)

Clara Blandick ... Mrs. Minnie Winkle (uncredited)

Robert Dudley ... Sheriff (uncredited)

Broderick O'Farrell ... Card Player (uncredited)
Paddy O'Flynn ... Ride Man (uncredited)

Guy Oliver ... Townsman (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Sneezing Barber (uncredited)
Dick Rush ... Cop (uncredited)

Directed by
A. Edward Sutherland 
Writing credits
Grover Jones (story) and
William Slavens McNutt (story)

Grover Jones (scenario) and
William Slavens McNutt (scenario)

Original Music by
Gerard Carbonara (silent version) (uncredited)
Gene Lucas (silent version) (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Allen G. Siegler 
Film Editing by
Richard H. Digges Jr. 
Sound Department
Earl S. Hayman .... sound (as Earl Hayman)
Music Department
Max Bergunker .... composer: additional music (silent version) (uncredited)
Emil Bierman .... composer: additional music (silent version) (uncredited)
A. Cousminer .... composer: additional music (silent version) (uncredited)
Other crew
Perry Ivins .... dialogue director
Harry Hartz .... technical advisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.See more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Burning Up? You, if you paid to see this..., 5 September 2002
Author: arthursward ( from Easley, SC

I love the early talkies, they present themselves with an exuberance and freshness that clearly wore off by 1934. Having researched the early Paramount products so recently made available to me [thank you Forgotten Hollywood], it was with higher expectations that I viewed this title.

Although I have given this film a 6 of 10 rating, it was in spite of the direction. Richard Arlen and Mary Brian work hard in their lead roles of racecar driver and girlfriend but their scenes leave you uninvolved. The venerable Tully Marshall plays Arlen's promoter well, but his whining scenes are too repetitive and frequent. Francis McDonald is irritating AND intimidating as the antagonist racecar driver. Only Charles Sellon as Mary Brian's dad scores a good showing and his presence is all to infrequent. These flaws, which may not be the director's fault, are within the power of the director to ameliorate. Dialogue is poorly paced and the script is even worse.

So what's the 6 for? Plenty. The film opens with a montage of old amusement park thrillrides that set up the main character's introduction. In something called a Motor Drome, Arlen and McDonald race motorcycles in what I can only describe as a large wooden barrel. Roaring ever faster in a circle, centrifugal force glues them to the side of this barrel while the crowd cheers (and wagers). While a couple of shots are less than convincing, you've gotta hand it to the stunt doubles. The climactic race in open wheeled roadsters on a dirt track displays bravura camera movement. The action is captured from EVERY possible point-of-view. You'll see Arlen trying to overtake McDonald from beside McDonald's car then from a camera mounted behind Arlen. Tracking shots from behind and in front of (oh! the dust) are well edited into a thrilling sequence. The soundtrack roars agreeably, though some dialogue is lost.

Prior to viewing this Eddie Sutherland effort, I enjoyed his "Pointed Heels" (released earlier) so I'd hoped for more. Incidentally, "Pointed Heels" has an amazing tracking shot into a nightclub which ends in a 360 degree pan around a table. I wish someone could tell me how it was done.

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