Nebraska-made movies starring local actors are of special interest to students of the state’s film history. Contemporary newspaper accounts often provide details about the casts and settings of these early productions. “The professional photoplay of Lincoln entitled ‘Dangerous Dollars,’ written by Glen L. Dearing, a Lincoln writer, has been finished,” announced the Sunday State Journal on July 24, 1927. “The last foot of film was cranked by Cameraman C. E. Bell last night, the last directorial efforts of R. F. Joseph were completed and the editing and titling of the picture takes place this ensuing week.” The Journalcontinued with details of what it called a “real all-Lincoln movie”:
“Ray-Bell Films, Inc., of St. Paul, Minn., producers of the photoplay are developing and printing the film at their laboratory studio in their home city. The film will be ready to run beginning July 31 and is to be shown at the Orpheum Theatre. ‘Dangerous Dollars’ was filmed from a story by Glen L. Dearing of Lincoln, and during the filming of the story all the scenes outside were taken in familiar locations thruout the city. . . .
“The plot of the film tells of one Lincoln girl who is the recipient of $50,000, and what happens to her, how she spends her money and a thrilling climax of how dangerous the dollars turn out to be. Those who saw some of the scenes ‘shot’ will see the very scene on the screen. Interiors were made in several Lincoln stores, Mayer Brothers, Central Cafe, Boyd’s Jewelry Store, Nebraska Buick Co., Hardy’s and other places. A real studio was constructed on the stage of the Orpheum theatre and at each performance last week the interior ‘sets’ were photographed, enabling the audience to get an insight of how it is done.
“Ray-Bell Films brought many thousands of dollars worth of equipment to Lincoln for the filming of the picture. A Bell-Howell camera, a battery of flood lamps, a high intensity spot lamp, a portable generating outfit, and other necessary accessories made up the complete outfit.
“The local cast was entirely Lincoln people; the leads being taken by Alice Vogt and F. Jac Foss. . . . The personnel of the actual people in charge of the production of the film were R. H. Ray, president of Ray-Bell Films, Inc., R. F. Joseph, director, C. E. Bell cameraman, Cosmetician, Mary Drew, Viola May Hall, Script and Scenario, Ray St. Martin, company electrician.”