""Untamed" was silly but fun - Bob Montgomery was terrific,
I was awful, mostly becasue I was miscast." - Joan Crawford
Cast: Joan Crawford ( as Alice 'Bingo' Dowling), Robert Montgomery, Ernest Torrence,
Holmes Herbert, John Miljan, Gwen Lee, Edward J. Nugent, Don Terry,
Milton J. Fahrney, Lloyd Ingraham, Grace Cunard, Tom O'Brien
Release date - November 23, 1929
Running time - 86 minutes (9 reels)
Director - Jack Conway
Writing Credits - Charles E. Scoggins (story), Sylvia Thalberg, Frank Butler,
Lucille Newmark (titles), Willard Mack (dialogue)
Producer - Unknown
Cinematographer - Oliver T. Marsh
Costumes - Adrian
Studio - MGM
When Bingo's (Joan) father is killed, she inherits his oil company , however because she was raised in rural South America,
her guardians, Ben (Ernest Torrence) and Howard (Holmes Herbert) decide to send the unsophisticated Bingo (Joan) to New York
to gain some culture.
On the way, she meets Andy (Robert Montgomery), a perfect man, only a poor man. After telling Bingo (Joan) that he simply
can't live off the cream of a woman's fortune, he takes up with the equally poor, Marjory (Gwen Lee). Not willing to let her
man go so easily, Bingo (Joan) ends up shooting Andy (Robert Montgomery) in the arm. This bizarre act of love (according to
the story) now allows them to marry. Despite the reason for Bingo (Joan) shooting Andy (Robert Montgomery) not being explained.,
they do live happily ever after.
A milestone in Joan's career. "Untamed" was her first "talkie." She never doubted her ability to talk
on film, she would tirelessly take diction and elocution lessons to rid herself of her natural Southwestern accent. She even
bought a Dictaphone and read verse into it as her first husband, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. supervised. Her determination to succeed
in the new medium ensured that she was one of the few silent stars who made the transition from silent to sound with ease.
Working title "Jungle."
It was the first leading man role for Robert Montgomery, who never worked in silents.
In the opening scene, Joan dances as she sings the theme song, "Chant of the Jungle," written by Nacio Herb
Brown and Arthur Freed, which became a hit in 1929. She and Montgomery sing the Louis Alter and Arthur Freed tune "That
Wonderful Something Is Love."
Co-writer, Sylvia Thalberg was sister to MGM producer, Irving Thalberg.
Cost: $229K/Domestic Studio Gross: $714K/Foreign Studio Gross: $260K/Profit: $508K
Box Office Receipts: $974,000.
Inflation Value in 2007: $11,844,580.47
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Reviewer, Joseph Parker, says...
"Bingo" is exactly the word! This film hits all the right spots and its not all about Joan Crawford, who simply
sparkles. I fell totally in love with her character!
It is not by accident that IMDb lists 107 films by Director Jack Conway between 1912 and 1948. This was his 72nd film
according to that chronology and his expertise shows. I found it thoroughly engrossing and continuously entertaining. I laughed
aloud often -- some really great gags and a fine early sit-com.
I don't know much about the writer Charles E. Scoggins, but co-writer Sivia Thalberg is credited with 15 films and is
the sister of Irving Thalberg. That ought to tell you this film deserves close attention. Don't allow yourself to think of
it as "cornball" and just engross yourself in it. You won't be disappointed.
Pierre de Rohan of the "New York Morning Telegraph" (1929) had this to say, "Miss Crawford seems more than
a little ill-at-ease in the trappings of a jungle hoyden and only slightly more comfortable in the equally alien antics of
a Manhattan debutante. She never, therefore, makes her role seem real and I doubt whether any other actress could."
"The Brooklyn Eagle" (1929) said, "If "Untamed" does little else for Miss Crawford, it proves
that she is an actress for whom the microphone should hold no fear. Her diction is clear and unaffected, and while there is
nothing in the lines that offers her opportunity for exceptional acting, she manages to make the impulsive heroine of the
story somewhat more credible than the part deserves."
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