The Golden Age of Hollywood

Spencer Tracy before MGM


Spencer Tracy before MGM

His Pre-Code Legacy at Fox Films (based on the book endorsed by TCM's Robert Osborne)

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Latest Activity: Nov 13, 2017

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Comment by Brenda Loew on April 5, 2010 at 5:35pm
Our book about stage performers who pioneered the talkies will feature two articles about Tracy's career as a journeyman theatre actor during the 1920s performing in traveling stock companies and on Broadway.
Comment by Brenda Loew on April 5, 2010 at 5:32pm
TCM just showed a Jayark Hist-o-rama short about Spencer Tracy, probably made around 1963. If anyone can locate it on YouTube or the web, let me know! I'd like to upload it.
Comment by Brenda Loew on October 9, 2009 at 4:48pm
We've re-done our website Let us know what you think.

The Spencer Tracy book is selling very consistently. Check it out at
Comment by Brenda Loew on September 22, 2009 at 4:42pm
According to the Ripon College website, those who knew him when he was a student at the college report that Spencer Tracy had a photographic memory. Makes sense.....
Comment by Brenda Loew on July 29, 2009 at 3:44pm
1930 Vitaphone
Comment by diane on July 29, 2009 at 1:41am
There is a short film he made called "The Hard Guy" (1930) and
it is so extraordinary - his acting is so natural. It is only about
7 minutes long but he is amazing to watch. He plays a tough
guy (what else) whose little child is sick and he goes out in
anger with a gun. I won't spoil the ending but it is nice not
Comment by Brenda Loew on June 30, 2009 at 4:20pm
Tracy did not really play the leading role in some of his earliest Fox films, for example, in Young America (which you can rent on Netflix). He plays a "Main St." good citizen type of small town drugstore owner. But in Young America we see a young Spencer Tracy influencing in a positive way the "bad" behavior of young boys. This was the very beginning of Tracy's image as a father figure....years before he starred in MGM's Captains Courageous and Boys Town. Young America is worth watching. Have Netflix mail it to you!
Comment by Brenda Loew on June 21, 2009 at 6:13pm
Movie Review
Disorderly Conduct (1932)
April 11, 1932
Spencer Tracy, as a Motorcycle Policeman, Is a Victim of Politicians and Bootleggers in Roxy Offering.
Published: April 11, 1932

Through its racy dialogue and highly commendable performances given by Spencer Tracy, Sally Eilers, Ralph Bellamy and others, "Disorderly Conduct," the present pictorial feature at the Roxy, affords a fair measure of entertainment, but, unfortunately, the story as a whole is disappointing. It is a strained and implausible tale about a motorcycle policeman named Fay (Mr. Tracy), who falls from grace after a clash with an influential politician and bootlegger whose daughter he (Fay) arrests for attempted bribery and speeding.

Everything is bright for Fay at the outset, but after he is run into a ditch while chasing a line of liquor trucks and refuses the offer of $1,000 from a racketeer, there is trouble for the ambitious policeman. And because he escorts Phyllis Crawford to the police station, her father insists on having Fay put on patrol and transferred to another precinct. From then on Fay takes bribes and scoffs at his Captain, Tom Manning, who is called Honest Tom. It happens that Manning is thoroughly deserving of the sobriquet, but he, be it known, is engaged to marry Miss Crawford, which, of course, leads to further trouble for Fay and a bitter animosity between him and Manning.

Fay is told by Manning to pick up a purse Phyllis had dropped while watching the policemen at target practice and the policeman tells the Captain that he is a cop and not a lady's maid. When Fay tells Manning his unvarnished opinion of Phyllis, the Captain knocks the policeman down.

By innuendo Fay then gives the owners of a gambling place to believe that he is splitting the graft with Manning. Matters go from bad to worse as time goes on and there is a murder as a climactic point to the yarn. This gives Fay the upper hand on Manning for a while. Then the policeman has a chance to show his courage and prove that he has given back a large bribe, but not the smaller graft.

In the end Manning and Fay are friends. Fay is back on his motorcycle and Phyllis hands the policeman a "ticket" on which is written something to the effect that "he does not know how much she likes him.

El Brendel works hard in trying vainly to stir up mirth as a policeman. In the course of the proceedings Jimmy, played by Dickie Moore, is introduced as Fay's nephew. The child wears a uniform and at the psychological instant he is a victim of a gangster's machine-gun bullets.

The stage production is called "Spain" and it is in four scenes, with the Roxyettes in Spanish costumes doing a dance with castanets.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT, based on a story by William Anthony McGuire; directed by John W. Considine Jr.; produced by the Fox Film Corporation. At the Roxy.
Phyllis Crawford . . . . . Sally Eilers
Dick Fay . . . . . Spencer Tracy
Olsen . . . . . El Brendel
Jimmy . . . . . Dickie Moore
Tom Manning . . . . . Ralph Bellamy
James Crawford . . . . . Ralph Morgan
Fletcher . . . . . Allan Dinehart
Lunch Room Girl . . . . . Claire Maynard
Tony Alsotto . . . . . Frank Conroy
Stalling . . . . . Cornelius Keefe
Gwen Fiske . . . . . Nora Lane
Phoebe Darnton . . . . . Geneva Mitchell
Limpy . . . . . Charles Grapewin
Perce Manners . . . . . James Todd
Helen Burke . . . . . Sally Blane
Comment by Brenda Loew on June 21, 2009 at 6:11pm
Here's a New York Times review of Fox Film Corp's Disorderly Conduct (1932)

It's probably not as bad as Mordaunt Hall claims.

I'd like to be able to decide for myself but it seems this film is lost.

Has anyone ever seen it?
Comment by Brenda Loew on June 21, 2009 at 6:09pm
Here's the New York Times review of Disorderly Conduct (1932, Fox Film Corp).

Movie Review
Disorderly Conduct (1932)
April 11, 1932
Spencer Tra...

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