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On Thin Ice (1925 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On Thin Ice
Pennsylvania theater showing the film in 1925
Directed byMalcolm St. Clair
Written byDarryl Francis Zanuck
Based onThe Dear Pretender
by Alice Ross Colver
Produced byWarner Brothers
StarringTom Moore
Edith Roberts
William Russell
CinematographyByron Haskin
Edited byClarence Kolster
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • January 30, 1925 (1925-01-30)
Running time
7 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

On Thin Ice is a 1925 American silent crime drama film directed by Mal St. Clair and starring Tom Moore, Edith Roberts, and William Russell. It was produced and distributed by the Warner Bros. and based upon a 1924 novel by Alice Ross Colver.[1][2][3]

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As described in a film magazine review,[4] Rose (Roberts), desperately in need of money, finds a bag of money thrown over a fence by crooks. She rushes home with it only to find her father has died. She attempts to return the satchel but it is filled with paper and worthless money. The crooks become friendly with her, and although harassed by the police, she finally wins over one of them into going straight.[5]



Film historian Ruth Anne Dywer, quoting Leonard Mosley from his biography on Darryl Zanuck, reports that producer Jack Warner was not particularly impressed with St. Clair’s directing, despite the fact that his Warner Bros. films had performed well at the box office. [6]

New York Times film critic Mordaunt Hall characterized On Thin Ice as a “trite” and “clumsy story” in which “an effort has been made to maintain the mystery concerning the thief.” Hall concludes that that director Mal St. Clair failed to endow the film “with any original or bright touches.”[7]

Though Photoplay ranked On Thin Ice among the best of the month, the studio canceled St. Clair’s contract following the release of the film.[8]


With no prints of On Thin Ice located in any film archives,[9] it is a lost film.[10]

The picture survives only in screenplay form at the Library of the University of Southern California. Ruth Anne Dwyer notes that the motto “Those who skate on THIN ICE always fall through” was likely carried on the introductory title of the film itself.[11]


  1. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: On Thin Ice at
  2. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: On Thin Ice
  3. ^ Dwyer, 1996 p. 201: Filmography, from Allice Ross Colver’s novel The Dear Pretender.
  4. ^ "New Pictures: On Thin Ice", Exhibitors Herald, 21 (1): 50, March 28, 1925, retrieved December 26, 2021 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ Dwyer, 1996 p. 201: Filmography: Detailed plot sketch.
  6. ^ Dwyer, 1996 p. 94: Mosley’s Daryll Zanuck: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Last Tycoon (1984). See footnote no. 5, p. 95 in Dwyer.
  7. ^ Hall, 1925
  8. ^ Dwyer, 1996 p. 94: Dwyer quoting [[George Geltzer in Films in Review, 1954, “Malcolm St. Clair”
  9. ^ The Library of Congress / FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: On Thin Ice
  10. ^ On Thin Ice at Lost Film Files: Lost Warner Brothers film - 1925
  11. ^ Dwyer, 1996 p. 93: Capitalized in Dwyer


External links

This page was last edited on 14 June 2024, at 11:02
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