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Dynamite (1929)

Passed | | Drama | 13 December 1929 (USA)
Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees ... See full summary »

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Jeanie Macpherson (by), John Howard Lawson (dialogue) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Conrad Nagel ... Roger Towne
Kay Johnson ... Cynthia Crothers
Charles Bickford ... Hagon Derk
Julia Faye ... Marcia Towne
Joel McCrea ... Marco - Her Boy Friend
Muriel McCormac Muriel McCormac ... Katie Derk
Robert Edeson ... Wise Fool
William Holden William Holden ... Wise Fool
Henry Stockbridge Henry Stockbridge ... Wise Fool
Leslie Fenton ... Young 'Vulture'
Barton Hepburn Barton Hepburn ... Young 'Vulture'
Tyler Brooke Tyler Brooke ... The Life of the Party
Robert T. Haines Robert T. Haines ... The Judge
Douglas Scott ... Bobby (as Douglas Frazer Scott)
Jane Keckley Jane Keckley ... His Mother
Edit

Storyline

Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees to a financial settlement. But Cynthia's wealth is in jeopardy because her trust fund will expire if she is not married by a certain date. To satisfy that condition, Cynthia arranges to marry Hagon Derk, who is condemned to die for a crime he didn't commit. She pays him so he can provide for his little sister. But at the last minute, Derk is freed when the true criminal is discovered. Expecting to be a rich widow, Cynthia finds herself married to a man she doesn't know and doesn't want to. Written by Ron Kerrigan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's DYNAMITE in the lax moral code of the idle rich! DYNAMITE in the scenes of daring love-making! DYNAMITE in the clash between upper and under worlds! (Print Ad- Owosso Argus-Press,((Owosso, Mich.)) 4 February 1930) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dynamit See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film took place in Minneapolis Friday 15 February 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); it apparently became a local favorite because it afterwards enjoyed several repeat performances, unusual for such a vintage film at that time; its next airings took place in Chicago Friday April 26, 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Norfolk VA Thursday 20 June 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3) and in Lubbock TX Tuesday 30 July 1957 on KCBD (Channel 11). Because of its extreme age, virtually forgotten cast members, and severely pre-code aspects of the story, sponsors elsewhere showed little interest in it, and it was only rarely taken off the shelf. In Grand Rapids it first aired 31 March 1958 on WOOD (Channel 8) and in Miami 31 May 1958 on WCKT (Channel 7); television viewers first got sight of it in Indianapolis 29 August 1958 on WLW-I (Channel 13) and in Honolulu 2 September 1958 on KHVH (Channel 13). It's now happily housed in the TCM library and enjoys an occasional outing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies, much to the delight of the ever increasing number of vintage film enthusiasts. See more »

Quotes

Hagon Derk: Ahhhh... bull!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film Title is shown as the word DYNAMITE written on a box of..... dynamite, after being set down by a worker. See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM also released this as a silent movie. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on saxophone by an unidentified guest at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The merits of the inheritance tax ...
6 May 2012 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

... are clearly illustrated here in a tale that includes a fascinating look at the idle rich at the end of the roaring 20's who are so bored that they'll try anything for a thrill, owe their income to forefathers long dead, and basically play all night and sleep all day. But that's just the set-up for the real story.

Ordinarily I'm not that huge a fan of DeMille, but I found his first foray into sound, "Dynamite", a very good and innovative film. The actors don't speechify endlessly, the camera moves, and the story moves with it. Unlike many films from 1929 it's worth a repeat viewing for the entertainment value, not just the novelty of seeing an industry in transition.

That doesn't mean that there isn't plenty of an industry in transition on exhibit, but rather than inane musical numbers, De Mille uses sound appropriately and also employs largely unknown actors from the stage to keep the emphasis on the plot and in particular, the relationships. From the hammering of the builders of Hagan Dirk's gallows and the singing of "How Am I to Know" by a fellow death row prisoner played by Russ Columbo during the wedding scene, to the strange aero wheel race at the country club, to the playing of a particular song on the radio introducing a romantic moment, this film was an innovative technological marvel when it was first released. However, technological marvels fade with time, and what you do remember are relationships that hit home and are memorable. Many have already stated the outrageous premise of the plot. What is not outrageous and rings true after almost 85 years is how you don't get to pick who you love - it just happens and it can often be most inconvenient, and how heroes can be found in the strangest places and in people you would not think would be up to the task.

I'd recommend this one highly and not just to early talkie enthusiasts.


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