Cast & Crew
On her first night as a dockside taxi dancer, Mary Foster loses her job when she tries to fend off the advances of drunken sailor Groder. As Mary walks in the streets, she is followed by a policeman who intends to arrest her for prostitution. Mary panics and hides in Captain Grant's freighter, on which Groder is first mate. After they set sail, she is discovered by second mate Tommy, and gives in to his advances. She spends the night in his cabin, and Tommy falls in love with her as he gets to know her. In the morning, Groder discovers Mary's presence and sneaks into Tommy's cabin. Tommy comes to Mary's rescue as Groder assaults her, and knocks Groder against the porthole, where he collapses. Unknown to Tommy and Mary, Groder has been stabbed by shipmate Mackie, whom he bilked out of some money from an illegal business they conducted. Captain Grant charges Tommy with murder and arranges for his and Mary's arrest on their arrival in San Francisco. Once there, however, the ship's steward surprises everyone by revealing he is Inspector Redding of Customs. While investigating Groder and Mackie's drug smuggling, he witnessed Groder's murder. Tommy and Mary are released and decide to pursue their romance ashore and marry.
Fay Wray (1907-2004)
She was born Vina Fay Wray, in Cardston, Alberta, Canada on September 15, 1907. Her family relocated to Arizona when she was still a toddler so her father could find employment. When her parents divorced, her mother sent her to Hollywood when Fay's eldest sister died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. The reasoning was that Southern California offered a healthier climate for the young, frail Wray.
She attended Hollywood High School, where she took some classes in drama. After she graduated, she applied to the Hal Roach studio and was given a six-month contract where she appeared in two-reel Westerns (25 minutes in length), and played opposite Stan Laurel in his pre-Oliver Hardy days.
She landed her first big role, as Mitzi Schrammell, in Erich von Stroheim's beautifully mounted silent The Wedding March (1928). It made Wray a star. She then starred in some excellent films: The Four Feathers (1929), the early Gary Cooper Western The Texan (1930), and one of Ronald Coleman's first starring roles The Unholy Garden (1931), all of which were big hits of the day.
For whatever reason, Wray soon found herself in a string of thrillers that made her one of the great screamers in Hollywood history. The titles say it all: Doctor X, The Most Dangerous Game (both 1932), Mystery of the Wax Museum, The Vampire Bat (both 1933) and, of course her most famous role, that of Ann Darrow, who tempts cinema's most famous ape in the unforgettable King Kong (also 1933).
Wray did prove herself quite capable in genre outside of the horror game, the best of which were Shanghai Madness with Spencer Tracy; The Bowery (both 1933), a tough pre-Hays Code drama opposite George Raft; and the brutal Viva Villa (1934), with Wallace Beery about the famed Mexican bandit. Yet curiously, the quality of her scripts began to tank, and she eventually found herself acting in such mediocre fare as Come Out of the Pantry (1935), and They Met in a Taxi (1936).
With her roles becoming increasingly routine, the last of which was the forgettable comedy Not a Ladies Man (1942), she decided to trade acting for domesticity and married Robert Riskin, who won two Best Screenplay Oscars® for the Frank Capra comedies It Happened One Night (1934) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936). When Riskin died in 1955, Wray found herself working to keep busy and support her three children. She landed supporting parts for films like The Cobweb (1955), Hell on Frisco Bay (1956) and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957). She also found work in television on such popular programs as Perry Mason and Wagon Train before she retired from acting all together in the mid-'60s.
To her credit, Wray did remain reasonably active after her retirement. She published her autobiography, On The Other Hand in 1989 and was attending many film festivals that honored her contribution to film, most notably in January 2003, when, at 95 years of age, she accepted in person her "Legend in Film" Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Wray is survived by a son, Robert Riskin Jr.; two daughters, Susan and Victoria; and two grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Fay Wray (1907-2004)
According to a news item in Film Daily, the title was changed from Tricked after the film's release. Motion Picture Herald credits James Gordon in the role of "Captain", and Maurice Black as "Tony." No other sources corroborate this listing, but Film Daily Year Book includes this film in both men's filmographies.