The Wrecker, Happy Anniversary! Premiered, July 17, 1929, in London, England

The Wrecker


Many regard this as a 1928 release (including Strike Force Entertainment who released the DVD in 2009) yet in June of 1928 the film had not started production;[1] advertising directed toward exhibitors, relating that the synchronization and the score were in preparation, was seen in June of 1929.[2]

Not only was the non-talking film equipped with sound effects and musical score, synchronized by RCA Photophone,[3] but a theme song was written especially for the flick, with words by Irving Caesar and the music by Joseph H. Santly, entitled: Are You Really Mine? The project reached the synchronization juncture in the spring of 1929; the synchronizing was done at Elstree Studios.[4] Who did Gainsborough Pictures hire to handle this, their first synchronized film for them? Abe Meyer took care of the intricate details of synchronizing The Wrecker. By the way this movie is not listed in Meyer’s modern work history; his contribution to The Wrecker came two years before Honeymoon Lane, 1931, which was supposed to be his first project.[5]

Unfortunately, the 2009 DVD release does not have the original RCA Photophone soundtrack (discs for The Wrecker are extant[6]) associated with it; therefore, it is a new musical score. But, the train-wrecks are still top notch, because they were the real thing.

The cast included Carlyle Blackwell, Benita Hume and Joseph Striker. Behind the scenes, Géza von Bolváry directed, adapted from the play by Benard Merivale and Arnold Ridley (Didley), by Angus MacPhail, Benno Vigny, with Edgar Wallace doing novel motifs and going uncredited; cinematography by Otto Kanturek, camera-work by Bert Evans and Alan McNab, the film was edited by Arthur Tavares and the production design by Oscar Friedrich Werndorff.


Wrecker The_Winnipeg_Tribune_Wed__Nov_20__1929_ Wrecker The_Winnipeg_Tribune_Mon__Nov_18__1929_ Wrecker The_Winnipeg_Tribune_Thu__Nov_21__1929_

Wrecker titleWrecker, Close Up July 1929



By C. S. Williams



[1] The Film Daily, May 6, 1928

Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, June 23, 1928

Exhibitors Daily Review, July 30, 1928

[2] The Film Daily, June 7, 1929

[3] The Winnipeg Tribune, (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) November 9, 1929

[4] The Film Daily, April 28, 1929

[5] The Film Daily, June 16, 1929

[6] Vitaphone News, Summer/Fall-1995


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