IMDb > Party Wire (1935)

Party Wire (1935) More at IMDbPro »


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Ethel Hill (screen play) and
John Howard Lawson (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Party Wire on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 April 1935 (USA) See more »
When the daughter of the town's leading citizen and a local dairyman have a romance,and the man makes a sudden-and-unexplained trip out of town... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Subtle? No. But lots of fun to watch. See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Arthur ... Marge Oliver

Victor Jory ... Matthew Putnam
Helen Lowell ... Nettie Putnam
Robert Allen ... Roy Daniels

Charley Grapewin ... Will Oliver (as Charles Grapewin)
Clara Blandick ... Mathilda Sherman
Geneva Mitchell ... Irene Sherman
Maude Eburne ... Clara West
Matt McHugh ... Bert West
Oscar Apfel ... Thomas Sherman
Robert Middlemass ... Judge Stephenson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maidena Armstrong ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Jessie Arnold ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Herbert Ashley ... Townsman at Meeting (uncredited)
Dorothy Bay ... Rebecca (uncredited)
Dolly Bevins ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Sammy Blum ... Townsman (uncredited)
Edward W. Borman ... Townsman (uncredited)

Walter Brennan ... Paul - Railroad Telegrapher (uncredited)
Earle D. Bunn ... Tracey (uncredited)
Louise Carter ... Grandma Kern (uncredited)
Harvey Clark ... Banker Croft (uncredited)
Charles Cowen ... Townsman (uncredited)
Bill Dill ... Poker Quartet Member (uncredited)
Oliver Eckhardt ... Townsman (uncredited)
Sam Finn ... Townsman (uncredited)
Adda Gleason ... Townswoman (uncredited)
James Guilfoyle ... Waiter (uncredited)
Ben Hall ... Boy on Bench - Telegraph Office (uncredited)
Lillian Harmer ... Deborah (uncredited)
Grace Hayle ... Eleanor (uncredited)
Alfred P. James ... Barber (uncredited)
Si Jenks ... Poker Quartet Member (uncredited)
Sheldon Jett ... Townsman (uncredited)
James B. 'Pop' Kenton ... Lem Davis (uncredited)
Robert P. Kerr ... Poker Quartet Member (uncredited)
Nat Laffingwell ... Townsman (uncredited)
June LaVere ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Mason (uncredited)
Stella LeSaint ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Joe Smith Marba ... Joe (uncredited)
William McCall ... Townsman (uncredited)
Nelson McDowell ... Townsman at Meeting (uncredited)
Lafe McKee ... Townsman in Pool Hall (uncredited)
George C. Pearce ... Country Doctor (uncredited)
Vester Pegg ... Poker Quartet Member (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Charlie - Rotary Club Member (uncredited)
Lon Poff ... Townsman (uncredited)
Blanche Rose ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Dorothy Shearer ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Jerome Storm ... Waiter (uncredited)
Leo Sulky ... Townsman at Meeting (uncredited)
Emerson Treacy ... Martin (uncredited)
Guy Usher ... Johnson (uncredited)
Dorothy Vernon ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Kathrin Clare Ward ... Nan Martin (uncredited)
Sofia Wormser ... Townswoman (uncredited)
George Yeoman ... Townsman (uncredited)
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Directed by
Erle C. Kenton 
Writing credits
Ethel Hill (screen play) and
John Howard Lawson (screen play)

Bruce Manning (from the novel by)

Cinematography by
Allen G. Siegler (photography) (as Allen Siegler)
Film Editing by
Viola Lawrence (film editor)
Art Direction by
Stephen Goosson (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Helen Hunt .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles C. Coleman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Stanley Dunn .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
William Hamilton .... assistant sound engineer (uncredited)
Glenn Rominger .... sound engineer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Blaisdell .... grip (uncredited)
Homer Plannette .... set lighting foreman (uncredited)
Dave Ragin .... camera operator (uncredited)
Victor Scheurich .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Other crew
Harry Cohn .... president: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Evelyn Fontaine .... stand-in: Jean Arthur (uncredited)
Robert North .... supervisor (uncredited)
Jack Rea .... stand-in (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
69 min (TCM print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
USA:Approved (PCA #743) (original rating) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Some reviews credited Charles Middleton with the role of "Johnson," but that part was played by Guy Usher.See more »
For He's a Jolly Good FellowSee more »


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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Subtle? No. But lots of fun to watch., 11 January 2009
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

This is an interesting case where a film's rating doesn't really reflect how watchable a film is. I think PARTY WIRE earned a 7--mostly because although it had a very good story, it also wasn't exactly subtle or believable. However, it was extremely fun to watch despite its limitations as "art".

The film is about a horrid little town where they use a party line. For those whippersnappers out there who don't know what one is, it's a system where the people in a community share a phone line. It's cheaper and easier than installing separate lines but its major drawback is that ANYONE in the system can eavesdrop on others' conversations. In this nasty town, practically all the old ladies spend much of their time listening in--as they take perverse pleasure in spreading gossip. While they don't show the men listening in, they are just as bad because once their wives learn "the truth" about others, they, too, spread these tales.

Victor Jory plays a rich business man who returns to this town after many years' absence. Practically the entire town learns he's coming well in advance due to the party line and many of them are hopeful they can ride his coattails to wealth. However, Jory just wants to relax on his vacation and catch up with a girl (Jean Arthur) and her father (Charley Grapewin). However, during this visit, the town gossips THINK that Arthur is pregnant by another man and the town treats her abominably--so it's up to her new fiancé to set the record straight and teach the town a well-earned lesson.

Stand out actors in the film were Victor Jory and Jean Arthur. As for Jory, though he made a ton of films, often he played villains and wasn't exactly the handsome leading man, but I liked him a lot in the film. He was a very solid actor and it was refreshing to see a normal looking leading man. As for Arthur, she was, as always, terrific.

Grapwin played a sort of crusty but lovable old coot. While his shtick was his love of applejack (home made apple alcohol), this was a bit hard to laugh at because I kept thinking he needed a 12-Step Program! It's funny how we laughed at this sort of stuff in the 1930s and today it would make some a bit uncomfortable.

Overall, the film excels at getting the audience to care about the characters and really wanting to see the town get their comeuppance. While subtlety isn't exactly emphasized (such as comparing the gossips to closeups of croaking frogs), it is enjoyable and worth seeing. For a similar film, though one that is handled much better, try seeing Henri-Georges Clouzot's LE CORBEAU. It's better written and makes the same point about gossip.

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