6 user 3 critic

Captain Applejack (1931)

Approved | | Crime, Comedy, Drama | 31 January 1931 (USA)
An ordinary man is confronted by gangsters who have reason to believe a treasure is buried somewhere on his property.



(screenplay & dialogue), (play) (as Walter Hackett)




Complete credited cast:
Poppy Faire
Lush, the Butler
Aunt Agatha
John Jason (as Claude Allister)
Mrs. Kate Pengard
Ivan Borolsky, aka Jim (as Arthur Edmund Carew)
Horace Pengard
Bill Dennett (as William Davidson)


An ordinary man is confronted by gangsters who have reason to believe a treasure is buried somewhere on his property.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Comedy | Drama | Romance






Release Date:

31 January 1931 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play opened in New york on 30 December 1921. See more »


In the scene where Poppy and Anna meet, just before they leave the room, a fly is seen crawling on the left cheek and ear of Kay Strozzi. Scene is cut to Mary Brian and then back to Kay again, where the fly once again lands on her, this time on the right cheek. See more »


Version of Strangers of the Night (1923) See more »


Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
Music by R. Melish (1780)
Lyrics (poem to Celia) by Ben Jonson
Played on a bass violin by John Halliday
See more »

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User Reviews

It was supposedly funny back in 1931, now it's just tedious
23 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

This film, I suppose, is a comedy. Because of that, the cast was apparently informed to really overdo it--with some of the broadest acting I have ever seen. It was originally a stage production and in this case, it looks like they must have filmed it as it was done on stage--loud and over-emoted. CAPTAIN APPLEJACK begins with Ambrose home on a stormy night in his mansion. He is dying for some adventure in his life, and almost immediately it begins! People start coming in and out of his house at an alarming rate and he is deeply involved in all sorts of silly intrigue. It's like your typical "old dark house" film so common in this era but on steroids--with everything coming rapidly and with no letup.

The first thing I noticed is how much Kay Strozzi sucked in this film! This probably sounds very harsh, but when this actress came storming into the home of Ambrose Applejohn, I was just bowled over by how terrible her accents were. She didn't know if she was supposed to be French, Russian or just an idiot. Kids in high school productions usually have better accents than hers! And, to top it off, within the first ten minutes of the film, three different women fainted--talk about a load of malarkey! These factors combined with the style of the production (with people walking on and off camera much like they'd do it in a play) made me realize early on that I was in for a very long ride, indeed.

After several actors came in and out of the set, in came "Ivan" (Arthur Edmund Carewe) to prove that Strozzi was not the only actor who could produce a crappy and unconvincing Russian accent! I think, honestly, that any of the Ritz Brothers could have done this job better. He was lousy, but fortunately he didn't stick around for long. As for leading man John Halliday, he also overdid it quite a bit. In 1931, perhaps people thought this was all a funny farce. Today, it mostly just seemed tedious.

I cannot recommend this film to anyone--even people who like bad films, as this one wasn't bad enough to be funny--it was just plain bad. There is nothing really positive I can say about the movie other than it was blessedly short!

By the way, at about 32 minutes into the film, note the breast grabbing scene--something you might just see in a Pre-Code film but you'd never have seen once this Production Code was strengthened and adopted in 1934. Quite a shocker, eh?

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