AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Too Much Johnson
Director: Donald Crisp (Dir)
Release Date:   Dec 1920
Duration (in feet):   4,431
Duration (in reels):   5
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Cast:   Bryant Washburn (Augustus Billings)  
    Lois Wilson (Mrs. Billings)  
    Adele Farrington (Mrs. Batterson)  
    C. H. Geldart (Joseph Johnson)  
    Monte Blue (Billy Lounsberry)  
    Monte Banks (Leon Dathis)  
    Elsie Lorimer (Mrs. Dathis)  
    Gloria Hope (Leonora Faddish)  
    George Hackathorn (Henry McIntosh)  
    Phil Gastrock (Francis Faddish)  

Summary: In order to conduct a secret dalliance with Mrs. Dathis aboard his former yacht, Augustus Billings uses the name "Johnson" and inscribes a photograph of himself with his assumed name. Mrs. Dathis' jealous husband later tears the photograph and only the curly black hair remains with the inscription "Johnson." Billings' mother-in-law, Mrs. Batterson, and his wife investigate Billings' explanation of his absence. Billings accompanies them to Mexico where supposedly he had been called to look after recently acquired oil properties. Billings takes them to a property owned by an intimate friend, but the property has been sold to a man named Joseph Johnson, who is aboard the same ship to Mexico as Billings, his wife and mother-in-law, as well as a revenge-seeking Mr. Dathis. Also on board are Francis Faddish and his daughter Leonora, who is to become the bartered wife of Johnson. Johnson knocks out the jealous Mr. Dathis, who has been searching everywhere for the curly-haired philanderer. After Johnson mistakes Billings' wife for his own bride-to-be, Billings tricks Johnson into a declaration of marriage with Mrs. Batterson. Billings is therefore relieved of the mother-in-law who interfered with his marital happiness. 

Production Company: Famous Players-Lasky Corp.  
Distribution Company: Famous Players-Lasky Corp.; Paramount-Artcraft Pictures  
Director: Donald Crisp (Dir)
  Frank Richardson (Asst dir)
Producer: Jesse L. Lasky (Pres)
Writer: Tom J. Geraghty (Scen)
Photography: C. Edgar Schoenbaum (Cam)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the play Too Much Johnson by William Gillette (New York, 26 Nov 1894).
Authors: William Gillette

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Famous Players-Lasky Corp. 3/12/1919 dd/mm/yyyy LP14531

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Impersonation and imposture
  Infidelity
  Marriage
  Mistaken identity
 
Subjects (Minor): Jealousy
  Mexico
  Mothers-in-law
  Oil
  Photographs
  Revenge
  Ships

Note: Too Much Johnson was also the basis of an uncompleted 16mm film made by Orson Welles in 1938. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   27 Dec 19   p. 419.
MPN   10 Jan 20   pp. 610-11.
MPN   24 Jan 20   p. 933, 1125
MPN   8 Jan 21   p. 215.
MPW   17 Jan 20   p. 330.
MPW   7 Feb 20   pp. 942-43.
Wid's   22 Feb 20   p. 16.

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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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