AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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A Fool and His Money
Director: Erle C. Kenton (Dir)
Release Date:   1 Jan 1925
Duration (in feet):   5,801
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Madge Bellamy (Countess von Pless)  
    William Haines (John Smart)  
    Stuart Holmes (Count von Pless)  
    Alma Bennett (Annette Ritazi)  
    Charles Conklin    
    Lon Poff    
    Carrie Clark Ward (Mrs. Schmick)  
    Eugenie Besserer (Mother)  
    Edwards Davis    
    Baby Billie Jean Phyllis    

Summary: John Smart, a hack writer, inherits a fortune from a distant uncle and buys a castle in Laupheim from Count von Pless. Arriving in Laupheim, John, who is received coldly by the count's former retainers, is informed that the castle is haunted. John later sees what appears to be the ghost of a beautiful young woman and pursues it, discovering that the "ghost" is the estranged wife of the count, hidden with her child at the castle by devoted servants. The woman tells John of her husband's cruelty, and John vows to protect her. When the count discovers that John is harboring his wife, he returns to the castle with soldiers and attempts to abduct her by force. John fights off the count until the girl and her child have had time to escape by airplane. Smart is convicted of obstructing justice, his castle is confiscated, and he is deported to the United States. Unknown to John, his valet has discovered a hidden fortune at the castle and brought it back to America. This fortune enables John to marry the divorced countess. 

Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Director: Erle C. Kenton (Dir)
Writer: Douglas Z. Doty (Adpt)
  Dorothy Howell (Cont)
  Walter Anthony (Titles)
Film Editor: Jack Kelly (Film ed)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs:
Source Text: Based on the novel A Fool and His Money by George Barr McCutcheon (New York, 1913).
Authors: George Barr McCutcheon

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp. 24/1/1925 dd/mm/yyyy LP21067

Physical Properties: Si:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Melodrama
 
Subjects (Major): Abduction
  Authors
  Divorce
  Haunted houses
  Inheritance
  Nobility

Note: An earlier adaptation of George Barr McCutcheon's novel was produced by Selznick Pictures in 1920. Also entitled A Fool and his Money , that film was directed by Robert Ellis and starred Eugene O'Brien and Rubye de Remer (see entry). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Variety   15 Jul 1925   p. 35.

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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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