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|This Day and Age|
|Directed by||Cecil B. DeMille|
|Written by||Bartlett Cormack|
|Produced by||Cecil B. DeMille (uncredited)|
|Starring|| Charles Bickford |
|Edited by||Anne Bauchens|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
This Day and Age is a 1933 American pre-Code film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charles Bickford and Richard Cromwell. It is one of his rarest films and has been released on home video through the Universal Pictures Vault Series DVD collection.
During Boys' Week at racially integrated North High School, students Steve Smith, Gus Ruffo and Billy Anderson are elected to temporarily hold the city offices of district attorney, judge and chief of police. After Jewish tailor Herman refuses to pay protection money to Louis Garrett, Garrett's gang bombs his store. Herman and the student who was with him survive the blast, but Herman is later murdered by Garrett after he again refuses to pay. Garrett is acquitted of murder charges because he has a perfect alibi. Steve, who had taken the stand during the trial, is humiliated by his experience as a witness because he failed to prove Garrett's guilt. Billy, Gus and Sam Weber decide to investigate for themselves and discover part of a cufflink at the scene of the murder. They break into Garrett's bedroom, but Garrett is tipped off by Morry Dover, a student who is competing with Steve for the affection of Gay Merrick. While at Garrett's club with Gay, Dover introduces her to Toledo, Garrett's thug. Garrett shoots Billy, killing him, and frames Gus for the murder and robbery. After the funeral, Steve blames Gay for telling Dover about the plan to break into Garrett's apartment. He gathers all the student body presidents from neighboring high schools and formulates a plan to arrest Garrett. With the help of hundreds of students, Steve captures Garrett and takes him to a local brickyard for a secret trial. In the meantime, Gay and Dover, in an attempt to redeem themselves, capture Toledo's attentions, although Gay is forced to seduce him. Garrett confesses after the students suspend him over a pit filled with rats, and the mob marches him to city hall, with the assistance of the police, to get a witnessed confession. Meanwhile, the real "big" boss of Garrett's protection racket leaves town. After eluding Toledo, Gay arrives to witness Garrett's arrest. Garrett signs the confession; Gus is released; and Steve, Gay and Dover sit in a car she temporarily borrowed to get there, listening to a broadcast about themselves until a police officer arrests them for being in a stolen vehicle.
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Paramount Produced Properties lists Bartlett Cormack as the author of the original story, "Boys in Office", upon which the film is based.
However, in his autobiography Cecil B. DeMille credits Sam Mintz as the author of the story, from which Bartlett Cormack wrote a scenario. According to information in the MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS library, the script for This Day and Age was submitted for approval by the AMPP on May 10, 1933. The AMPP responded with a letter to Paramount producer A. M. Botsford noting "three major problems": First, they questioned "the general treatment of established law and order, as represented by Judge Maguire. Censor boards lately (particularly New York State Board) have been insisting on maintaining respect for established law and order, and have stated specifically that they will not tolerate any attempt to undermine this sentiment. We suggest a certain toning down of some of the speeches. The second problem is the necessity of portraying this story in such a way that it will not be taken as a direct bid for open revolt and encouragement for high school pupils to disregard all the tenets of regularly constituted authorities, and attempt the administration of government by violent means....The third element is the use of the rat pit as a means of forcing confessions out of the gangster. This seems to us to be dangerous. It is bound to be offensive to a large part of any audience, particularly women, and unless great care is exercised, it May be so gruesome as to prove inadmissable both under the Code and to the censor boards generally."
In his book Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood, author Robert S. Birchard relates how DeMille wasn't sure screenwriter Bartlett Cormack's script had a sense of current slang, so he asked Los Angeles High School student Horace Hahn to read the script and comment. 
Studio personnel suggested other titles for the film, including High School Men, Battle Cry, High and Mighty, Pay Day, Live and Learn, May Day, We Want Action!, The Young March On!, The Snare, These Young Sinners, No Kidding, Over Here, We Accuse, Innocent Blood'', and Against the Rules. Ultimately the main title card was set with Bartlett Cormack's original choice: This Day and Age. 
The AMPP also advised that "care" be taken in the scene when a bomb is thrown and when Garrett kicks Steve, recommended the deletion of the "action of the girl being patted on the posterior" and noted that "all use of the word 'lily'... should be deleted under the Code, as an inference of sex perversion." In the courtroom scenes, the AMPP recommended that "in the action of the boys walking up to the judge you take care not to inject any roughness that might be interpreted as disrespect to a representative of the law...This whole scene in the courtroom should be played in a dignified and serious manner, without any indication of contempt or disrespect...We recommend that Steve's speech, 'And you're going to try him without any bunk or hokum,' should be modified to something less rough, along the line of 'Try him according to the spirit as well as the letter of the law'...It would be advisable not to show the boys disregarding the judge's rapping for order. Also we believe further consideration should be given to the somewhat satiric tone of the opening lines of the district attorney's speech...."[ citation needed ]
In July 1933, the film was previewed by the AMPP, and in a letter to Paramount, they stated that "...after reviewing the picture, it seems to us that Mr. De Mille has handled these difficult elements with skill and discretion. At the preview we noted a few minor items which might cause censorship difficulty, and have written to the studio about them in detail...we do not believe it will be interpreted in any way as an attack on constituted authority or a portrayal of lynch law, inasmuch as the studio has taken care at all times to portray the boys as under control and working in harmony with the police department, having been appointed special deputies by the sheriff; and furthermore, at the conclusion of the picture the mayor, judge and the district attorney are portrayed as being won over to the boys' actions and in sympathy with them. We believe that on this basis, the story can be defended, should occasion arise." A letter to A. M. Botsford outlines some details "with which you May have censorship trouble in various territories."[ citation needed ]
In 1935, the film was re-released, but before issuing a certificate of approval, Joseph Breen, insisted on the removal of Toledo's line, "I like my olives green, but I never pick 'em myself."
The film was rejected in Holland because of "strong Fascist tendencies". The film was released in British Columbia with a caption in the beginning of the film and on the trailer that read, "This is a story of the supposed revolt of American youth against racketeering and the evasion of law. Dealing with a condition which must not be construed as affecting the Administration of law and order in this country."[ citation needed ]
Horace Hahn, student body president of a Los Angeles high school, and other Los Angeles high school students appeared in the film. Harry Green reportedly agreed to earn $1.00/week to appear in the film after a salary dispute. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the production was completed "$40,000 under budget and four days ahead of schedule." According to Motion Picture Herald, the film was released in conjunction with Boys Week.[ citation needed ]
A 1935 news item in Daily Variety reported that author James O'Hanlon sued Paramount, and Paramount writer Dave Lewis, for plagiarism, claiming that his story "Rough on Rats" was used for the film without his permission. The outcome of the lawsuit has not been determined.
According to more recent sources, Howard Jackson, L. Wolfe Gilbert and Abel Baer contributed to the music and John Carradine was in the cast. In his autobiography, DeMille said that he intended to expose the "evil of racketeering" in this picture, and although some critics thought the film was "fascist" in tone, due to the students' handling of the racketeer, it was not his intention that scenes such as the students' torture of the racketeer be taken as literal suggestions. DeMille noted the final day of shooting as June 21, 1933.[ citation needed ]
The film was a box office disappointment for Paramount. 
Cecil Blount DeMille was an American film director, producer and actor. Between 1914 and 1958, he made 70 features, both silent and sound films. He is acknowledged as a founding father of the American cinema and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and by his cinematic showmanship. His silent films included social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants. He was an active Freemason and member of Prince of Orange Lodge #16 in New York City.
The Cheat is a 1915 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Fannie Ward, Sessue Hayakawa, and Jack Dean, Ward's real-life husband.
Harry Frederick Wilcoxon, known as Henry Wilcoxon, was an actor born in Roseau, Dominica, British West Indies, and who was a leading man in many of Cecil B. DeMille's films, also serving as DeMille's associate producer on his later films.
Samson and Delilah is a 1949 American romantic biblical drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released by Paramount Pictures. It depicts the biblical story of Samson, a strongman whose secret lies in his uncut hair, and his love for Delilah, the woman who seduces him, discovers his secret, and then betrays him to the Philistines. It stars Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr in the title roles, George Sanders as the Saran, Angela Lansbury as Semadar, and Henry Wilcoxon as Prince Ahtur.
Reap the Wild Wind is a 1942 American adventure film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Ray Milland, John Wayne, and Paulette Goddard in the leading roles, and features Raymond Massey, Robert Preston, Lynne Overman, and Susan Hayward in supporting roles. DeMille's second Technicolor production, the film is based on a serialized story written by Thelma Strabel in 1940 for The Saturday Evening Post.
Jesse Louis Lasky was an American pioneer motion picture producer who was a key founder of what was to become Paramount Pictures, and father of screenwriter Jesse L. Lasky Jr.
Pet Sematary Two is a 1992 American horror film directed by Mary Lambert. The screenplay was written by Richard Outten. It is the sequel to the film Pet Sematary which was based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The film stars Edward Furlong, Anthony Edwards, and Clancy Brown. Pet Sematary Two was theatrically released in the United States on August 28, 1992, by Paramount Pictures and grossed $17.1 million worldwide. It received negative reviews from critics, but Clancy Brown's performance received critical acclaim.
The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American silent religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Written by Jeanie MacPherson, the film is divided into two parts: a prologue recreating the biblical story of the Exodus and a modern story concerning two brothers and their respective views of the Ten Commandments.
James Ellison was an American film actor who appeared in nearly 70 films from 1932 to 1962.
John F. Kennedy High School is a public high school located in Bellmore, New York. It is one of three high schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.
Arthur Hohl was an American stage and motion-picture character actor. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and began appearing in films in the early 1920s. He played a great number of villainous or mildly larcenous roles, although his screen roles usually were small, but he also played a few sympathetic characters.
Cleopatra is a 1934 American epic film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and distributed by Paramount Pictures. A retelling of the story of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, the screenplay was written by Waldemar Young and Vincent Lawrence and was based on Bartlett Cormack's adaptation of historical material. Claudette Colbert stars as Cleopatra, Warren William as Julius Caesar, and Henry Wilcoxon as Mark Antony.
Unconquered is a 1947 American historical epic adventure film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard. The supporting cast features Boris Karloff, Cecil Kellaway, Ward Bond, Howard Da Silva, Katherine DeMille, C. Aubrey Smith and Mike Mazurki. Released by Paramount Pictures, the film depicts the violent struggles between American colonists and Native Americans on the western frontier in the mid-18th century during the 1763 Pontiac's Rebellion, primarily around Fort Pitt. The film is characterized by DeMille's lavish style, including colourful costumes and sets, thousands of extras, violence, and sensationalism.
Katherine Lester DeMille was a Canadian-born American actress who played 25 credited film roles from the mid-1930s to the late 1940s.
Arthur Henry Rosson was an English film director. From 1917 to 1948, Rosson directed 61 feature films. He also worked on many major films as a second unit director until 1960, particularly for Cecil B. DeMille.
Lawrence Fobes King, also known as Latisha King was a 15-year-old student at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California, who was shot twice by a fellow student, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, and kept on life support until two days later.
Horace L. Hahn was an American actor best known for working with Cecil B. DeMille on several films as a young man, including a supporting role in This Day and Age (1933). He also served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II, and assisted Justice Robert H. Jackson as an interrogator in connection with the prosecution of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg Trials.
Edward Bartlett Cormack was an American actor, playwright, screenwriter, and producer best known for his 1927 Broadway play The Racket, and for working with Howard Hughes and Cecil B. DeMille on several films.
The Cheat is a 1923 American silent drama film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and is a remake of Cecil B. DeMille's 1915 film of the same name using the same script by Hector Turnbull and Jeanie MacPherson. This version stars Pola Negri and was directed by George Fitzmaurice.
Matilda Beatrice deMille was an English-American play broker, screenwriter, playwright, theater actress and entrepreneur. She had a part in founding Paramount Pictures.