AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Head over Heels
Director: Victor Schertzinger (Dir)
Release Date:   Apr 1922
Production Date:   1920
Duration (in feet):   4,229
Duration (in reels):   5
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Cast:   Mabel Normand (Tina Bambinetti)  
    Hugh Thompson (Lawson)  
    Russ Powell (Papa Bambinetti)  
    Raymond Hatton (Pepper)  
    Adolphe Menjou (Sterling)  
    Lilyan Tashman (Babe)  
    Lionel Belmore (Al Wilkins)  

Summary: When theatrical agent Sterling, a ladies man known for signing his latest paramours onto his agency's talent roster, returns to New York from a trip to Europe, he tells his more down-to-earth partner, Lawson, that he has hired a beautiful Neopolitan acrobat he saw onstage in Italy. When the acrobat, Tina Bambinetti, arrives in their office, though, Sterling is shocked to find that, offstage, she is plain, unkempt and badly dressed. Crushed by Sterling's dismissive treatment, Tina performs some acrobatics that almost destroy the office, but her spunk impress Lawson. Later, Papa Bambinetti is convinced by scheming press agent Pepper that Tina would have a promising career in motion pictures if she just visited a "beauty hospital." Despite Tina's fears that the imposing beauticians will hurt her, she soon undergoes a complete transformation and emerges, to everyone's surprise, as a beautiful, well-dressed young woman. Lawson falls in love with Tina, who enjoys her new life and cannot decide between him and her career. One night, when Tina sees Lawson with another woman at the roof garden of her hotel, she angrily confronts them, then packs her bags to return to Italy. Lawson stops her before she boards her ship, though, after explaining that the woman was merely another client. 

Production Company: Goldwyn Pictures Corp.  
Director: Victor Schertzinger (Dir)
  Paul Bern (Dir)
Writer: Julien Josephson (Scen)
  Gerald C. Duffy (Scen)
  Nalbro Isadorah Bartley (Story)
Photography: George F. Webber (Dir of photog)
Country: United States
Language: English

Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Goldwyn Pictures Corp. 20/4/1922 dd/mm/yyyy LP17763

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Comedy-drama
Subjects (Major): Acrobats
  Theatrical agents
  Wards and guardians
Subjects (Minor): Beauty shops and hair salons
  Motion picture actors and actresses
  Naples (Italy)
  New York City

Note: The entry above is based on contemporary sources supplemented by a 2006 viewing of an incomplete print that was preserved by AFI. Production credits were missing from the print viewed, as was the ending and some additional segments of the film. The viewed print contained a fantasy sequence in which Mabel Normand, as "Tina Bambinetti" imagines herself as a movie "vamp," dressed and acting like popular actress Theda Bara.
       As noted in ontemporary news items, the film was actually completed in mid-1920, although its release was delayed until Apr 1922. Head over Heels was the final Normand film released by Goldwyn Pictures. Modern sources add Laura La Varnie to the cast as "Mme. RennĂ©e. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   17 Jun 1922   p. 189.
MPW   6 May 1922   p. 89.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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