''The House That Shadows Built'' (1931) is a
feature Feature may refer to: Computing * Feature (CAD), could be a hole, pocket, or notch * Feature (computer vision), could be an edge, corner or blob * Feature (software design) is an intentional distinguishing characteristic of a software item ...
compilation film A compilation film, or compilation movie is a film edited from previously released or archive footage, but compiled in a new order of appearance. The video footage can be combined with new commentary and new footage, but most of the footage of a ...
Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation (common metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric ...

Paramount Pictures
, made to celebrate the 20th
anniversary An anniversary is the date on which an event took place or an institution was founded in a previous year, and may also refer to the commemoration or celebration of that event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if plan ...
of the studio's founding in 1912. The film was a promotional film for exhibitors and never had a regular theatrical release. The film includes a brief history of Paramount, interviews with various actors, and clips from upcoming projects (some of which never came to fruition). The title comes from a biography of Paramount founder
Adolph Zukor Adolph Zukor (January 7, 1873 – June 10, 1976) was an Austro-Hungarian-born American film producer best known as one of the three founders of Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation (common : Par) is an American film and televi ...
, ''The House That Shadows Built'' (1928), by
William Henry Irwin William is a male given name of Germanic languages, Germanic origin.Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, ''Oxford Dictionary of First Names'', Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, , p. 276. It became very popular in the English language after the Norm ...

Marx Brothers segment

The film is best known for a six-minute segment starring the
Marx Brothers The Marx Brothers were an American family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a of born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without psychological or moral intentions ...
, with
Ben Taggart Ben Taggart (April 5, 1889 – May 17, 1947) was an United States, American actor. Taggart's stage experience began in Seattle, and he went on to play leading roles in Washington, Portland, San Francisco, Trenton, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. ...
playing Mr. Lee, Theatrical Producer, which was intended to promote their forthcoming 1931 film ''Monkey Business (1931 film), Monkey Business'' (Clark also played the role of the frustrated Passport Official in ''Monkey Business'' and would later appear in the war scene in ''Duck Soup (1933 film), Duck Soup''). The segment, containing material which was never included in any other Marx Brothers film, is a re-working of the first scene of their first successful Broadway theatre, Broadway revue ''I'll Say She Is'' (1924), which Groucho considered to have been the funniest work in the Brothers' career. Except for some name changes and a few additional gags, the scene is nearly the same as the script used for the stage production. A few of the gags from ''I'll Say She Is'' were worked into the lobby scene in ''The Cocoanuts'' (1929), and a bit involving a series of Maurice Chevalier imitations was incorporated into the script of ''Monkey Business''. The Marx Brothers' segment is currently available as a special feature on the DVD, direct-to-DVD documentary film ''Inside the Marx Brothers'', albeit in poor condition. Marx Brothers fans sometimes refer to their segment simply as ''I'll Say She Is'', in light of its source material.

Scenes from silent Paramount films

Silent film performers in unidentified silent films

*George M. Cohan, possible films: ''Broadway Jones (film), Broadway Jones'' (1917), ''Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917 film), Seven Keys to Baldpate'' (1917), and ''Hit-The-Trail Holliday'' (1918) *George Beban *Elsie Ferguson, possible films: ''The Lie (1918 film), The Lie'' (1918) and ''The Avalanche (1919 film), The Avalanche'' (1919) *Dorothy Dalton *Marguerite Clark, film clip likely from ''Snow White (1916 film), Snow white'' (1916) *Billie Burke, film clip is most definitely from ''The Land of Promise'' (1917) *Ethel Clayton *Lila Lee *Pauline Frederick *Bryant Washburn *Irene Castle The Lon Chaney Sr. segment is one of only two short sequences which survive from ''The Miracle Man'' (1919). The other clip is featured in one of Paramount's ''Movie Milestone'' series, ''Movie Memories'' (1935), showcasing the studios' greatest achievements. This latter clip shows both a segment from the conclave in Chinatown as well as the healing scene which is in ''The House That Shadows Built''. A nitrate print of ''Movie Memories'' is reportedly at the UCLA Film and Television Archive but has not yet been preserved.

Then-current Paramount stars

The film moves on to show segments with Paramount players of the 1931–32 season, including George Bancroft, Nancy Carroll, the Four Marx Brothers, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Clive Brook, Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, Eleanor Boardman, Frances Dee, Jackie Searl, Kay Francis, Judith Wood, Regis Toomey, Peggy Shannon, Jackie Coogan, Lilyan Tashman, Eugene Pallette, Anna May Wong, Juliette Compton, Stuart Erwin, William Boyd, Miriam Hopkins, Wynne Gibson, Jack Oakie, Ginger Rogers, Robert Coogan, Carmen Barnes, Charlie Ruggles, Richard "Skeets" Gallagher, Mitzi Green, Richard Arlen, Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Paul Lukas, Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Ruth Chatterton, Marlene Dietrich, and Maurice Chevalier. These stars are announced as appearing in upcoming films, including some never produced or released by Paramount: *''An Entirely Different Woman'' with Marlene Dietrich (never produced, based on the German novel ''Eine ganz andere Frau'' by Georg Froschel) *''No One Man'' from the Rupert Hughes novel *''Daughter of the Dragon'' with Anna May Wong, Warner Oland, and Sessue Hayakawa *''24 Hours (1931 film), 24 Hours'' with Clive Brook, Kay Francis, and Regis Toomey *''Girls About Town (film), Girls About Town'' with Kay Francis, Lilyan Tashman, and Eugene Pallette *''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931 film), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' with Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins *''Personal Maid'' with Nancy Carroll *''Uncertain Woman'' with Claudette Colbert (based on Edgar Wallace novel ''The Girl from Scotland Yard'', never produced) *''The Road to Reno (1931 film), The Road to Reno'' with Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Lilyan Tashman *''The Round-Up'' with Eugene Pallette, Stuart Erwin, Skeets Gallagher, and Frances Dee (not produced by Paramount until 1941) *''Silence'' with Clive Brook, Marjorie Rambeau, and Peggy Shannon *''A Farewell to Arms (1932 film), A Farewell to Arms'' with Gary Cooper and Eleanor Boardman (Helen Hayes replaced Boardman in the final film) *''My Sin'' with Tallulah Bankhead and Fredric March *''Ladies of the Big House'' *''Huckleberry Finn (1931 film), Huckleberry Finn'' with Jackie Coogan, Mitzi Green, Junior Durkin, and Jackie Searl *''Rich Man's Folly'' with George Bancroft *''The Man With Red Hair'' (horror film based on novel ''Portrait of a Man With Red Hair'' by Hugh Walpole, never produced) *''The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (book), The Lives of a Bengal Lancer'' filmed by Ernest B. Schoedsack (not made until 1935, using footage shot in India by Schoedsack in 1931) *''Tomorrow and Tomorrow'' with Ruth Chatterton Scenes are shown that were shot for the following films: *''An American Tragedy (film), An American Tragedy'' with Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, and Frances Dee *''Secrets of a Secretary'' with Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, and Georges Metaxa *''Sooky'' directed by Norman Taurog, with Jackie Cooper and Robert Coogan *''Murder by the Clock'' with William Boyd, Lilyan Tashman, Regis Toomey, and Irving Pichel *''Monkey Business (1931 film), Monkey Business'' with the Marx Brothers (see above section) *''Stepdaughters of War'' with Ruth Chatterton and directed by Dorothy Arzner (never released) *''The Smiling Lieutenant'' directed by Ernst Lubitsch with Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Charlie Ruggles, and Miriam Hopkins

See also

*''A Trip to Paramountown'' (1922 promotional film made by Paramount)


External links

* *
clip from ''Monkey Business'' trailer
{{DEFAULTSORT:House That Shadows Built, The 1931 films 1931 documentary films American documentary films American films Black-and-white documentary films 1930s English-language films Paramount Pictures films American black-and-white films Compilation films Marx Brothers Cultural depictions of Maurice Chevalier Promotional films