AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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A Ship Comes In
Alternate Title: Das Grosse Glueck
Director: William K. Howard (Dir)
Release Date:   4 Jun 1928
Duration (in mins):   75
Duration (in feet):   6,902
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Rudolph Schildkraut (Peter Pleznik)  
    Louise Dresser (Mrs. Pleznik)  
    Milton Holmes (Eric)  
    Linda Landi (Marthe)  
    Evelyn Mills (Katinka)  
    Virginia Davis (Katinka)  
    Fritz Feld (Sokol)  
    Robert Edeson (Judge Gresham)  
    Lucien Littlefield (Dan [Casey])  
    Louis Natheaux (Gregor)  

Summary: The Slovakian family of Peter Pleznik emigrates to the United States, and there, despite protests from Sokol, a radical countryman he meets in a restaurant, Peter applies for American citizenship. Five years later, assisted by kindly Judge Gresham, Peter receives his citizenship papers, and soon after, his son Eric goes to fight for America in the war. Judge Gresham, meanwhile, has sentenced a radical to ten years hard labor for treason, and Sokol is chosen by his revolutionary comrades to kill Gresham. After Sokol substitutes a time bomb for a cake Peter's wife has made for the judge, Peter unwittingly brings the box with the bomb to the judge. Gresham is seriously wounded and his secretary is killed as the bomb explodes. Peter is blamed, convicted, and jailed, but he is later freed when Sokol, as he is dying after being hit by a truck, confesses to the crime. Eric is killed in the war. Despite all this, Peter's patriotism never wavers, and he returns to his job as a janitor feeling that he has given all to his country. 

Production Company: De Mille Pictures Corp.  
Production Text: A William K. Howard Production
Distribution Company: Pathé Exchange, Inc.  
Director: William K. Howard (Dir)
  Emile De Ruelle (Asst dir)
Writer: Julien Josephson (Orig story and scen)
  Sonya Levien (Scen)
  John Krafft (Titles)
Photography: Lucien Andriot (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Anton F. Grot (Art dir)
Film Editor: Barbara Hunter (Film ed)
Costumes: Adrian (Cost)
Country: United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Pathé Exchange, Inc. 10/5/1928 dd/mm/yyyy LP25281 Yes

Physical Properties: Si:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Citizenship
  Family life
  Immigrants
  Patriotism
  Slovakian Americans
  World War I
 
Subjects (Minor): Bombs
  False arrests
  Janitors
  Judges
  Murder
  Revolutionaries

Note: The working title of this film was His Country . The onscreen credits were taken from a cutting continuity deposited at the NYSA. As part of the first Academy Awards, Louise Dresser received a certificate of honorable mention for her work on the film.
       According to modern sources, an American-made, German-language version of the film, entitled Das grosse glueck , was released in Europe in 1928 or 1929, with an adapted screenplay by recent European émigré Leo Birinski. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   1 Jul 1928.   
New York Times   4 Sep 1928   p. 21.
Variety   5 Sep 1928   p. 28.

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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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