AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
It's the Old Army Game
Director: Edward Sutherland (Dir)
Release Date:   24 May 1926
Duration (in feet):   6,889
Duration (in reels):   7
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Available Formats
Facets DVD VHS LaserDisk

Cast:   W. C. Fields (Elmer Prettywillie)  
    Louise Brooks (Mildred Marshall)  
    Blanche Ring (Tessie Overholt)  
    William Gaxton (George Parker)  
    Mary Foy (Sarah Pancoast)  
    Mickey Bennett (Mickey)  
    Josephine Dunn (Society bather)  
    Jack Luden (Society bather)  
    George Currie (Artist)  

Summary: Elmer Prettywillie, the village druggist, is awakened by a woman who needs a 2-cent stamp in the middle of the night. Seeking again a state of somnolence, Prettywillie must contend with the clamorous collectors of garbage, and with those of his own castle who have caught forty winks and then some. The letter-carrying lady, in trying to post her missive, manages to summon the city's fire department to the pharmacy where, unable to find a fire, they sit and sip sodas while Prettywillie panders to their every want. When they leave, a bit of a blaze does erupt, but Prettywillie is forced to his own resources. Meanwhile, George Parker is smitten with Elmer's buxom assistant and uses the storefront to promote a bogus land deal. The Prettywillie fortune is thus inflated, enabling the purchase of a flivver, but Elmer ends up wrecking a Florida estate and finally the flivver, foiling the schemers and delighting the denizens of the town, whose jubilation Elmer takes for an acute case of distemper. He jails himself for safekeeping. 

Production Company: Famous Players-Lasky Corp.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Director: Edward Sutherland (Dir)
Producer: Adolph Zukor (Pres)
  Jesse L. Lasky (Pres)
Writer: Tom J. Geraghty (Scen)
  J. Clarkson Miller (Scen)
  Ralph Spence (Titles)
Photography: Alvin Wyckoff (Dir of photog)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs:
Source Text: Based on comedy sketchws by Joseph Patrick McEvoy for The Comic Supplement (1924).
Authors: Joseph Patrick McEvoy

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Famous Players-Lasky Corp. 25/5/1926 dd/mm/yyyy LP22763

Physical Properties: Si:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Family life
  Firemen
  Fraud
  Jails
  Pharmacists
  Real estate agents
  Small town life
  Speculation

Note: The source of the film was a series of comedy sketches written by Joseph Patrick McEvoy for W. C. Fields for a 1924 show entitled The Comic Supplement . Although The Comic Supplement , which was variously titled J. P. McEvoy's Comic Supplement and The Comic Supplement (of American Life) , did not have a Broadway run, portions of the show were incorporated into the 1925 Ziegfeld Follies . Aspects of that show, as well as It's the Old Army Game were the basis for Fields's 1934 Paramount film It's a Gift (see entry). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   18 Jul 1926.   
New York Times   5 Jul 1926   p. 6.
Variety   7 Jul 1926   p. 16.

Display Movie Summary
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.
 
Limited To:
Video Availability
Advanced Search
Join AFI
Login
AFI Membership
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film

© 2014 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.