Too Much Johnson (1919 film)

Too Much Johnson is a lost[1] 1919 American silent comedy film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Donald Crisp during his phase as an important film director. This film stars in the leads Bryant Washburn and Lois Wilson.[2][3]

Too Much Johnson
Film poster
Directed byDonald Crisp
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Jesse Lasky
Written byThomas J. Geraghty (scenario)
Based onToo Much Johnson
by William Gillette
StarringBryant Washburn
Lois Wilson
CinematographyCharles Schoenbaum
Edited byNan Heron
Dorothy Arzner
Distributed byParamount Pictures - Artcraft
Release date
  • December 1919 (1919-12)
Running time
5 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

This film is based on William Gillette's 1894 play Too Much Johnson and is the second film attempt at the play, the first having been a short in 1900.[4] Famously, Orson Welles made a short and unfinished amateur version of the play and he may have not known of this feature silent from 1919.


As described in a film magazine,[5] Augustus Billings (Washburn), who is in deadly fear of his mother-in-law Mrs. Batterson (Farrington), risks fate by taking a yacht trip with his friend Billy Lounsberry (Blue), who owns some oil wells in Mexico. Augustus' aliby to his wive (Wilson) is that he has purchased an interest in the oil wells and was called there to look after them. The yacht is owned by a romantic married woman whom Augustus is introduced to as "Johnson." Boat owner Mrs. Dathis (Lorimer) carries on a flirtation with "Johnson" and invites him on another cruise. The second cruise is interrupted when the jealous Leon Dathis (Banks) finding out and starting a search for "Johnson." Mrs. Billings and her mother determine to accompany Augustus to Mexico on his second trip. Caught, Augustus books passage on a steamer to Mexico and takes his wife and mother-in-law along. On the same boat goes the jealous Mr. Dathis. Meanwhile, Billy Lounsberry sells his oil wells to a Mr. Johnson (Geldart) and departs Mexico. Meanwhile, also on the steamer is a young woman Leonora (Hope) who is to marry this Mr. Johnson through a mail arrangement along with her father (Gastrock) and disappointed sweetheart Henry (Hackathorn). This leads to several difficulties, which are resolved, when the seven reach the Johnson oil wells. Augustus frees himself from his mother-in-law by marrying her off to the owner of the oil wells, Mr. Johnson.



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