WriterAddison Burkhard, Murray Roth Release dateMarch 16, 1929 ProductionWarner Bros. Entertainment CastTexas Guinan, George Raft, Eddie Foy - Jr, Lila Lee, Arthur Housman Similar moviesWinner Take All (1932)
Stock footage texas guinan queen of the night clubs
Queen of the Night Clubs is a 1929 American Pre-Code musical drama film produced and directed by Bryan Foy, distributed by Warner Bros., and starring legendary nightclub hostess Texas Guinan. The picture, which featured appearancess by Eddie Foy, Jr., Lila Lee, and George Raft, is now considered a lost film.
After working as a hostess for Nick and Andy, Tex Malone leaves their employ and opens a club of her own. Looking for talent to book for the floor show, Tex hires Bee Walters and thereby breaks up Bee's act with Eddie Parr. Andy spitefully kills Tex's friend, Holland, and young Eddie is arrested for the crime on circumstantial evidence. Tex then learns from Eddie's father, Phil, that Eddie is her long-lost son. At the trial, Tex comes to Eddie's defense and persuades one member of the jury that there is reasonable doubt of Eddie's guilt. The jury repairs to Tex's club, where Tex discovers a piece of evidence that conclusively links Andy with the murder. Eddie is freed, and Tex and Phil get together for a second honeymoon.
Texas Guinan as Texas Malone
John Davidson as Don Holland
Lila Lee as Bea Walters
Arthur Housman as Andy Quinland
Eddie Foy, Jr. as Eddie Parr
Jack Norworth as Phil Parr
George Raft as Gigola
Jimmy Phillips as Nick
William B. Davidson as Assistant District Attorney
John Miljan as Lawyer Grant
Lee Shumway as Crandall
Joseph Depew as Roy
Charlotte Merriam as Girl
The film starred the legendary bar hostess and silent film actress Texas Guinan as "Texas Malone", a character obviously based upon herself.
Warner Bros signed Guinan to make the film in August 1928. Jack Norwood, John Davidson and Eddie Foy were signed to support her. Filming started in September 1928.
According to George Raft's obituary, Raft made his movie debut in the film as a dancer, but his scenes were cut from the final film.
The film was generally reviewed as mediocre by critics. Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times called it "a somewhat entertaining thriller", though he found the ending "amateurishly forced". Variety wrote, "Tex hasn't much to do, but does what she has pretty well." Film Daily called it "dull and uninteresting", writing, "This film was built solely to give Tex Guinan a chance to show how she runs her Broadway night club, but it has been done so often and so much better in other films of night club life that it carries no kick." John Mosher of The New Yorker expressed disappointment, writing, "Rather to our surprise and much to our regret, Miss Guinan doesn't carry the picture with as much verve as it might seem that she would."
No film elements are known to exist. The complete soundtrack (except the first reel), however, survives on Vitaphone disks.
A clip from this film featuring Guinan and Raft was incorporated into Winner Take All (1932), an early James Cagney vehicle.
Brief footage of Guinan, yelling "Hello, suckers!" in a restaurant (or perhaps her nightclub), appears in the 1980s HBO series Yesteryear...1927 hosted by Dick Cavett. This documentary series had Cavett cover a given year out of each decade from 1917 to 1969. Since this episode of Yesteryear was about 1927, the footage of Guinan could be newsreel footage from 1927 or extant 1929 footage from Queen of the Night Clubs (the same footage in Winner Take All).