Kismet (1930 film)

Kismet is a 1930 American pre-Code costume drama film photographed entirely in an early widescreen process using 65mm film that Warner Bros. called Vitascope. The film, now considered lost,[2] was based on Edward Knoblock's play Kismet, and was previously filmed as a silent film in 1920 which also starred Otis Skinner.

Directed byJohn Francis Dillon
Produced byRobert North
Written byHoward Estabrook
Edward Knoblock (play)
StarringOtis Skinner
Loretta Young
David Manners
Sidney Blackmer
Music byLeon Rosebrook
Edward Ward
CinematographyJohn F. Seitz
Edited byAlexander Hall
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release date
October 30, 1930
Running time
90 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$462,000[1]


Hajj, a rascally beggar on the periphery of the court of Baghdad, schemes to marry his daughter to royalty and to win the heart of the queen of the castle himself.


Warner Bros. spared no expense in making this picture. They spent $600,000 in producing it and the extravagance of the film was noted by every reviewer. The film played in ten cities across the United States in the wide-screen Vitascope (65mm) version while the rest of the country (which did not yet have theaters capable of playing widescreen films) were provided with standard 35mm prints.[3] Otis Skinner at 73 was up in age when he made the film. He was younger at 53 when he premiered the Broadway play in 1911 and it was the hit of his long career.

Box Office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $315,000 domestic and $147,000 foreign.[1]

Preservation status

The enormous amount of pre-Code content (especially in the sequences in the harem) has probably contributed to the film's loss status.

Two remakes, both in color, were made of the film, one in 1944 and the other in 1955. The 1955 version was an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical based on the play. Some sources claim that the original 1930 film featured Technicolor sequences. The film is considered lost, while the complete soundtrack of the film survives on Vitaphone disks.[4] An outtake of the production does exist and can be seen [5]

Foreign language versions

One Foreign Language Version of the 1930 version of Kismet was made. The German version, also titled Kismet, was directed by William Dieterle, and was released in 1931.[6]

See also


  1. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 11 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. "Kismet". Deutsche Kinemathek. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  3. David Coles, "Magnified Grandeur, Widescreen 1926-1931"
  4. Complete Works of Guido Deiro. Mel Bay Publications. 2008. p. 6. ISBN 0-7866-7825-9.
  6. Kismet at the American Film Institute Catalog 1893-1993

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