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 starred legendary nightclub hostess Texas Guinan. The picture, which featured appearances by Eddie Foy, Jr., Lila Lee, and George Raft, is now considered a lost film.[3] A still existing vintage movie trailer of this film displays no clip of the feature.

Queen of the Night Clubs
Directed byBryan Foy
Produced byBryan Foy
Written byAddison Burkhard
Murray Roth
StarringTexas Guinan
John Davidson
Lila Lee
John Miljan
Arthur Housman
Eddie Foy Jr.
Jack Norworth
George Raft
CinematographyEdwin B. DuPar
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
March 16, 1929[1]
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$472,000[2]


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.



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.[4] Jack Norwood, John Davidson and Eddie Foy were signed to support her.[5] 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.[6]


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".[7] Variety wrote, "Tex hasn't much to do, but does what she has pretty well."[8] 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."[9] 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."[10]

Box Office

According to Warner Bros the film earned $459,000 domestically and $13,000 foreign.[2]

Preservation status

  • No film elements are known to exist. The complete soundtrack (except the first reel), however, survives on Vitaphone disks.[11]
  • 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).

See also


  1. Bradley, Edwin M. (1996). The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 Through 1932. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 27. ISBN 9780786420292.
  2. 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 7 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  3. Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p. 14
  4. Texas guinan to put night club in movies. (1928, Aug 16). Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/180921641
  5. Kingsley, G. (1928, Aug 29). NOR WORTH SIGNS FOR TALKIES. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/162225969
  6. Thackrey, T. O. (1980, Nov 25). George raft, tough guy in films and life, dead at 85. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/162965972
  7. Hall, Mordaunt (March 18, 1929). "The Screen". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  8. "Queen of the Night Clubs". Variety. New York. March 20, 1929. p. 12.
  9. "Queen of the Night Clubs". Film Daily. New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc. March 24, 1929. p. 5.
  10. Mosher, John (March 23, 1929). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker. pp. 105–106.
  11. 1957 MOVIES FROM AAP Warner Bros Features & Cartoons SALES BOOK DIRECTED AT TV
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