Tenderloin poster.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Written byEdward T. Lowe Jr.
(scenario, adaptation, dialogue & titles)
Joseph Jackson
(dialogue & titles)
Story by"Melvin Crossman"
(Darryl Zanuck)
StarringDolores Costello
CinematographyHal Mohr
Edited byRalph Dawson
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • March 14, 1928 (1928-03-14) (NYC)
  • March 28, 1928 (1928-03-28) (US)
  • [1] ([1])
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$985,000[2]

Tenderloin is a 1928 American part-talkie crime film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Dolores Costello.[3] While the film was a part-talkie, it was mostly a silent film with a synchronized musical score and sound effects on Vitaphone discs.[4] It was produced and released by Warner Bros. Tenderloin is considered a lost film, with no prints currently known to exist.[5][6][1]


Rose Shannon (Dolores Costello), a dancing girl at "Kelly's," in the "Tenderloin" district of New York City, worships at a distance Chuck White (Conrad Nagel), a younger member of the gang that uses it as their hangout. Chuck's interest in her is as just another toy to play with. Rose is implicated in a crime which she knows nothing about. The police pick her up, and the gang sends Chuck to take care of her in the event she may know or disclose something that will implicate the gang.


Premiere Vitaphone short subjects

Tenderloin premiered at the Warners' Theatre in New York City on March 14, 1928.

Title Year
Orpheus in the Underworld Overture 1927
Beniamino Gigli & Giuseppe de Luca in Duet from Act 1 of "The Pearl Fishers" (Les pêcheurs de perles) 1927
Abe Lyman and His Orchestra 1928
Xavier Cugat and His Gigolos ("A Spanish Ensemble”) 1928
Adele Rowland in "Stories in Song" 1928


Tenderloin was the second Vitaphone feature with talking sequences that Warner Bros. released, five months after The Jazz Singer. The film contained 15 minutes of spoken dialog, and Warners promoted it as the first film in which actors actually spoke their roles. Reportedly, at the film's premiere, the feature was met with derisive laughter as a result of the film's stilted dialogue, resulting in two of the four talking sequences being eliminated during the first week of the film's premiere run.[7] Critic Harriette Underhill wrote that the "screen talking devices give the characters a certain lisp, slightly detracts from the serious effect."[8]

Box Office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $889,000 domestically and $96,000 foreign.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Tenderloin at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ a b c 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 6 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  3. ^ "Tenderloin". lcweb2.loc.gov. May 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: Tenderloin at silentera.com
  5. ^ American Film Institute (1971) The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30
  6. ^ "Lost Film Files - Warner". www.silentsaregolden.com.
  7. ^ "Tenderloin (1928) - Notes - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies.
  8. ^ (26 March 1928). Cinema: The New Pictures, Time

Further reading