Spring Fever (1927): Sedwick’s Silent Comedy, Starring William Haines and Joan Crawford

Edward Sedgwick directed Spring Fever, a silent comedy based on the 1925 play of the same name by Vincent Lawrence, starring William Haines and Joan Crawford.

Haines plays a shipping clerk named Jack Kelly, a clerk who neglected golf to work for aging Mr. Waters (George Fawcett). When Waters fires Pop Kelly (Bert Woodruff). Jack witnesses seeks revenge.

At the club, he meets and falls for Allie Monte (Joan Crawford), after introducing himself as a member of the family’s shipping business, but Allie sees through him and walks away.

Harold Johnson (Edward Earle) is the club champion and devotes himself to Allie. He tries to get her attention at a game, but she is not charmed with his presence. Over the days, the members – including Allie – become more pleased with Jack as he teaches everyone how to golf.

Johnson feels intimidated by Jack, fearing he could take over the championship title and his girl. Jack kisses Allie, but she storms off. He tries to apologize, but she refuses to talk to him, forcing him to climb into her room, staying there until she forgives him.

Allie loves him, but Jack is afraid to tell her the truth about his income, and when he does, she throws him out.

In the final, happy-ending scene, Jack becomes rich by winning the golf tournament, reuniting with Allie.

This was the second film starring Haines and Crawford, and and their first onscreen romantic teaming. The film was commercially popular, solidifying William Haines as a star–until his homosexuality was revealed, costing him his acting career.

“Love in the Rough,” the 1930 MGM musical, starring Robert Montgomery and Dorothy Jordan, and directed by Charles F. Reisner, was also based on Vincent Lawrence’s 1925 play.

The film was restored by Turner Entertainment in 2008, with a score by Darrell Raby.


William Haines as Jack Kelly
Joan Crawford as Allie Monte
George K. Arthur as Eustace Tewksbury
George Fawcett as Mr. Waters
Eileen Percy as Martha Lomsdom
Edward Earle as (Harry) Johnson
Bert Woodruff as Pop (Pa) Kelly
Lee Moran as Oscar, the caddy


TCM showed the movie on July 22, 2020.