Down 35,374 this week

Lightnin' (1930)

 |  Comedy  |  7 December 1930 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 14 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Add a Plot



(play), , 2 more credits »
0Check in

Interview: Magic Mike

The Magic Mike XXL guys give some relationship advice to a 74-year-old fan.

Watch Now

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 303 titles
created 21 Oct 2012
list image
a list of 9997 titles
created 26 Nov 2013
list image
a list of 111 titles
created 20 May 2014
list image
a list of 9980 titles
created 11 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Lightnin'" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Lightnin' (1930)

Lightnin' (1930) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Lightnin'.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kept Husbands (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Blue collar steelworker Richard Brunton (McCrea) saves two of his fellow workers after an accident at a factory. In gratitude, his boss, millionaire Arthur Parker invites Richard for dinner... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Clara Kimball Young, Joel McCrea, Dorothy Mackaill
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gold-diggers Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman meet susceptible lonely businessmen at conventions in this ribald preproduction code story. The millionaires lavish the girls with expensive ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Kay Francis, Joel McCrea, Lilyan Tashman
Framed (1930)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Rose Manning, the daughter of a racketeer who has just been killed, along with a policeman, in a shoot-out is undergoing a hard third-degree grilling from Police Inspector "Butch" McArthur,... See full summary »

Director: George Archainbaud
Stars: Evelyn Brent, Regis Toomey, Ralf Harolde
Born to Love (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A war officer who is thought dead returns to the woman he loves, only to find she has remarried.

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, Paul Cavanagh
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, Lew Cody
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Laraine Day, Robert Young, Tom Conway
Once a Sinner (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Guthrie McClintic
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Joel McCrea, John Halliday
Lightnin' (1925)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: John Ford
Stars: Jay Hunt, Wallace MacDonald, Richard Travers
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A salmon fisherman has to choose between a bad girl and a society doll.

Director: George Archainbaud
Stars: Evelyn Brent, Joel McCrea, Louis Wolheim


Complete credited cast:
Lightnin' Bill Jones
Mrs. Mary Jones
Helen Cohan ...
Milly Jones
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Raymond Thomas
Luke Cosgrave ...
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Judge Lemuel Townsend
Ruth Warren ...
Mrs. Margaret Davis
Mrs. Lower - the Chiseler
Betty - Larry's Wife
Rex Bell ...
Larry - Betty's Husband
Goodee Montgomery ...
Mrs. Brooks - Sheriff's Wife
Phil Tead ...
Monte Winslow (as Phillip Tead)
Walter Percival ...
Everett Hammond
Charlotte Walker ...
Mrs. Thatcher


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

americana | based on play | See All (2) »







Release Date:

7 December 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Munja  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Version of Lightnin' (1925) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Folksy hokum, famous play
7 July 2002 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

"Lightnin'" was originally a comedy play by Winchell Smith and Frank Bacon. It opened on Broadway in 1918, with co-author Bacon in the starring role as Lightnin' Bill Jones. The comedy was a smash hit and was, for several decades, one of Broadway's longest-running plays ... a long run that was interrupted only by the actors' strike to support the creation of Actors Equity, during which Frank Bacon and his castmates drove up Broadway with picket signs reading "Lightnin' has struck!". A 1925 silent-film version of "Lightnin'", directed by John Ford, was nothin' much.

The 1930 sound-film version of "Lightnin'", by the immensely under-rated director Henry King, stars Will Rogers as Bill Jones, a shiftless slowpoke who is sardonically nicknamed "Lightnin'". His wife Mary owns and operates an hotel which straddles the California-Nevada state line, and which exploits that quirk to drum up business ... mostly among divorcees who can check into this hotel to establish Nevada residency without leaving California. Mary Jones (Louise Dresser) works hard to keep the hotel making a bare profit, but her husband Lightnin' offers nothing except his folksy opinions. (Will Rogers improvised much of his dialogue in this movie, as he did throughout his talking-film career.) Their daughter Milly is played by Helen Cohan, real-life daughter of George M. Cohan. Miss Cohan is pretty, but no actress.

Joel McCrea, always an under-rated actor, plays handsome young John Marvin, who has been framed for embezzlement, and now must elude the law by hiding in the Jones hotel and taking advantage of its geographic quirk. When a California sheriff shows up at the California side of the hotel with a California arrest warrant, Marvin simply walks across to the Nevada side of the hotel (thereby crossing the state line) and vice versa.

Eventually, Mrs Jones sues her shiftless husband Lightnin' for divorce, which leads to a climactic courtroom scene in which Will Rogers gets to spout folksy aphorisms. (He claims that China has the best solution for divorce, because in China they drown all the girl babies. No comment.) "Lightnin'" has some interest as a film record of a stage play that was popular in its time, but that play is now unworthy of revival. Lightnin' doesn't strike twice. Will Rogers has always been over-rated; I enjoy his performances, but Rogers supposedly embodies or symbolises the American people in some way that I just don't see at all.

I can't see any great reason to recommend this film to anybody except die-hard Will Rogers' fans

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Lightnin' (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: