O. Henry's Full House
|O. Henry's Full House|
Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||Henry Koster|
|Produced by||André Hakim|
|Screenplay by||Richard L. Breen|
|Based on||Short stories|
by O. Henry
|Narrated by||John Steinbeck|
|Music by||Alfred Newman|
Milton R. Krasner
|Edited by||Nick DeMaggio|
William B. Murphy
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$1 million (US rentals)|
The film was produced by André Hakim and directed by five directors from five screenplays with different authors. The music score was composed by Alfred Newman. The film is narrated by author John Steinbeck, who made his only on-camera appearance to introduce each story.
The five storiesEdit
"The Cop and the Anthem"Edit
Directed by Henry Koster, from a screenplay by Lamar Trotti, it stars Charles Laughton, Marilyn Monroe and David Wayne. As winter approaches, a vagrant decides it's time for his annual winter spell in prison. But no matter how hard he tries, he cannot get himself arrested.
"The Clarion Call"Edit
Directed by Henry Hathaway, from a screenplay by Richard L. Breen, it stars Dale Robertson and Richard Widmark. Plot: A detective cannot arrest a murderer he knows from his past due to his honor involving an outstanding financial debt to the criminal. Once a newspaper offers a reward, after being mocked by the criminal, the detective arrests the criminal and collects the reward to repay the debt.
This vignette reunited Henry Hathaway and Richard Widmark who'd worked together on the noir classic Kiss of Death (1947). Widmark's character in The Clarion Call, "Johnny Kernan", is actually a reprise of his Oscar-nominated character "Tommy Udo" from Kiss of Death. Widmark's Udo/Kernan character was inspired by his love of Batman comics' "The Joker". The Tommy Udo performance in turn influenced Frank Gorshin in preparation for his "Riddler" character on the Batman TV series in the 1960s.
"The Last Leaf"Edit
Directed by Jean Negulesco, from a screenplay by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, it stars Anne Baxter, Jean Peters, and Gregory Ratoff. The story is set in Greenwich Village during a pneumonia epidemic. An old artist saves the life of a young artist, dying of pneumonia, by giving her the will to live. She can see an ivy plant through the window gradually losing its leaves, and has taken it into her head that she will die when the last leaf falls. Seemingly, it never does fall, and she survives. In reality, the vine lost all its leaves. What she thought she saw was in actuality a leaf, painted on the wall with perfect realism, by the old artist. The old artist dies of a heart attack while out in the wet and cold, painting the last leaf.
"The Ransom of Red Chief"Edit
Directed by Howard Hawks, from a screenplay by Ben Hecht, Nunnally Johnson and Charles Lederer, it stars Fred Allen, Oscar Levant, Lee Aaker, Irving Bacon, Kathleen Freeman, and Robert Easton. Two con men kidnap a child in order to collect a substantial ransom, but the child proves to be too much for them.
"The Gift of the Magi"Edit
Directed by Henry King, from a screenplay by Walter Bullock, it stars Jeanne Crain and Farley Granger. On Christmas Eve, with little money, Della sells her hair to buy her husband Jim a watch fob. Jim has sold his watch to buy her a pair of ornamental combs. When they exchange these now useless gifts, they realize how deep is their love for one another.
- 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953.
- Crowther, Bosley (October 17, 1952). "THE Four O. Henry Short Stories Offered in Fox Movie at Trans-Lux 52d Street". The New York Times.
- McCarthy, Todd (2007). Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood. Open Road + Grove/Atlantic. ISBN 9780802196408.
- Hicks, Chris (December 15, 2006). "Old favorite 'O.Henry' on DVD at last". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved August 18, 2019.