One Night at Susie's

One Night at Susie's is a 1930 all-talking pre-Code drama film released by First National Pictures and directed by John Francis Dillon. The movie stars Billie Dove and features Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Helen Ware and Tully Marshall.[1]

One Night at Susie's
theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Francis Dillon
Written byDialogue:
Forrest Halsey
Kathryn Scola
Screenplay byJohn Francis Dillon
Forrest Halsey
StarringBillie Dove
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
CinematographyErnest Haller
Distributed byFirst National Pictures
Release date
  • October 19, 1930 (1930-10-19) (US)
Running time
57 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States


Susie (Helen Ware), who runs a house for gangsters, is raising Dick Rollins, the son (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) of a dead convict. Susie has raised Dick well, making sure that he was not influenced by her gangster friends. She even gets him a job as press agent. Dick falls in love with Mary, a chorus girl, (Billie Dove). When he announces his engagement, Susie becomes infuriated, because she believes that a girl of her type will urge him on to a life of crime. Her premonitions come to fruition. Hayes (John Loder), who is producing Mary's show, gives her an engagement party. Dick is called to work, however, and Mary attends the party alone. Hayes attempts to rape her, and she shoots him in self-defense. Despite Mary's protests, Dick confesses to the murder and is convicted for manslaughter. While he is in prison, he writes a play for Mary, who tries to find a producer for the play but is turned down everywhere. Knowing how much the play means to Dick, she makes a deal with David Drake (Claude Fleming), who is willing to produce the play only if she submits to his sexual advances. The play is a success and makes Mary a star, which makes Dick happy when he hears the news. Houlihan (James Crane), who had made advances to Mary previously but had been rejected, goes to Susie and tells her everything concerning Mary's sordid affair. At first, when Susie confronts her, Mary denies everything., but she eventually confesses and Susie promises to keep the whole affair a secret. When Dick is finally released, the lovers are happily reunited.



The film survives intact and has been broadcast on television and cable. The film was transferred to 16mm film by Associated Artists Productions in the 1950s and shown on television. A 16mm copy is housed at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.[2] The film is also preserved in the Library of Congress collection.[3]

Home media

As of December 2015 One Night at Susie's has been available on the Warner Archive DVD label.[4]


  1. One Night at Susie's at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ONE NIGHT AT SUSIE'S - Feature Film Database - Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research - Wisconsin Historical Society
  3. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, (<-book title) p.133 c.1978 American Film Institute
  4. Warner Archive website Retrieved February 23, 2016

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