15 user 6 critic

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 »


Cecil B. DeMille


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Conrad Nagel ... Roger Towne
Kay Johnson ... Cynthia Crothers
Charles Bickford ... Hagon Derk aka The Fire Boss
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 ... 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


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


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 »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Charles Bickford and Joel McCrea (who have a very brief moment together in this film) would later co-star in Four Faces West (1948) in 1948. See more »


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 »


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


Listen to the Mockingbird
(1855) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Milburn
Lyrics by Septimus Winner
(Published under the name Alice Hawthorne)
Sung a cappella by Tyler Brooke at the party
See more »

User Reviews

8 April 2004 | by advixenSee all my reviews

One of the best of the early de Mille works - given that most of those films featured the same stable of actors. You get to see the last glimpses of that Golden Age before the stock market crash led to the Depression (when a relay comprised of women rolling themselves along a track inside giant hoops passed for racing excitement, probably since horse racing, like alcohol, had been banned in the US at that time) Stunning costumes and Art Deco details (lucite and sequins and pincurls, oh my!) provide welcome diversion from the inconceivable plot - although the two female leads and their society set planning one's divorce so the other can marry the ex-husband is racy!

Of interest especially is the fact that you can recognize the stage training of many of the actors brought to Hollywood with the advent of sound, and how wooden previously silent actors can be when given voice. Also interesting is the characters' flagrant flouting of Prohibition, which still had 4 years left - after all, this was "pre-Code" Hollywood when there wasn't a censor to be found!

Most significant is the sound. The scene which annoys modern viewers is the chaos in the jailhouse wedding scene. However, this is one of the first instances of layered sound: the hammering of the gallows over the prisoner's singing over the wedding vows was a first for a medium that had gone talkie only a year & a half earlier.

So watch it for the details, not the drama

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Release Date:

13 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dynamit See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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