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Feel My Pulse (1928)

A rich but hypochondriac heiress inherits a sanitarium. What she doesn't know is that it is a front for bootleggers, and a hideout for criminals on the run from the law.


Gregory La Cava


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Cast overview:
Bebe Daniels ... Barbara Manning
Richard Arlen ... Her Problem
William Powell ... Her Nemesis
Melbourne MacDowell Melbourne MacDowell ... Her Uncle Wilberforce
George Irving ... Her Uncle Edgar
Charles Sellon ... Her Sanitarium's Caretaker
Heinie Conklin ... Her Patient


A rich but hypochondriac heiress inherits a sanitarium. What she doesn't know is that it is a front for bootleggers, and a hideout for criminals on the run from the law.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Holy Stethoscopes! It's Love it is! And in every acute form, too. Nothing will cure it but moonlight and kisses. Such excitement! Such fun! Don't miss Dr. Bebe! (Print Ad-South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus, ((Wollongong,NSW)) 8 June 1929)







Release Date:

26 February 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apalpa Meu Pulso See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Despite being critically panned and a box-office disappointment, this film has enjoyed the appreciation of contemporary critics. It is one of few of Bebe Daniels' starring vehicles to survive. See more »


Her Problem: Stop talking and give your nose a rest.
See more »


Referenced in Rossellini visto da Rossellini (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent comedy with silent and sound era stars
10 February 2014 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

"Feel My Pulse" is a wonderful film that gives a feel for how people must have enjoyed the "moving pictures" in the earliest years of filmdom. Production and technical qualities were quite crude. Some labs and film preservation groups have been restoring films from that period. Often times that includes digital enhancements and improvements that render films clearer and crisper than some may have appeared on original showing. The DVD I bought of "Feel My Pulse" is not one of those. But for the lower quality, I would have rated this film even higher.

This is one of the best of the full-length silent feature films that had a plot. It has a crazy plot, and is very funny. Without sound, of course, the humor has to be carried even more strongly by the story lines projected on the film, and by the acting of the cast. Some modern movie fans are quick to chide early cinema for its over-acting. But, the physical expressions and gestures were how the humor and drama were conveyed, thus the varying degrees of them. This is a wonderful film that shows very well how that was done. It's as amusing to me today as it must have been to audiences nearly a century ago.

Bebe Daniels plays Barbara Manning, Richard Arlen is Wallace Roberts (aka, Her Problem), William Powel plays Phil Todd (aka, Her Nemesis), and a hilarious character by the name of Thirsty McGulp is played by Heinie Conklin. Powell was a seasoned actor already in the silent era, and his character here is a real hoot. The cast are all quite good.

Daniels was just two years younger than Gloria Swanson when she appeared in her first full-length feature film, "Male and Female" in 1919. It was the start of the last decade of the silent film era. Bebe's film career shot up just as fast as Swanson's from then on. She had made dozens of shorts since childhood, but now she was set in a film career that included a range of roles from comedy, romance, crime, mystery and adventure, to drama, war and western films. Of course, until 1929, these were all silent films. She was one actress who made a successful move to sound films. She was very talented as a singer, dancer, writer and producer.

Daniels has many films to her credit, but left Hollywood behind in the late 1930s. She married actor Ben Lyon, and the two performed for years in London. Ben served in the U.S. Army Air Force and was in charge of Special Services in England during World War II. The couple had a long-running radio show on BBC that was popular with the Americans serving in England. It was called "Hi, Gang!" After a short return to Hollywood in 1946, they went back to England and did another long-running popular radio show, "Life with the Lyons." The Lyons made their last film together in 1955. It was a British comedy take off from their radio show, "The Lyons Abroad," and their son and daughter were in the film as well.

The couple was married 40 years until Bebe's death at age 70 in 1971. She had suffered strokes in the early 1960s. The IMDb trivia section has an item that particularly interested me. Bebe had a second cousin, Lee De Forest, who was a prolific American inventor and early pioneer of radio. According to the entry, De Forest visited the set of Bebe's 1929 movie, "Rio Rita," and lent his technical skills to improving the sound quality of that and other films to follow.

This is a silent film well worth having in a movie collection. I think it's one worth restoring and making into digital.

Here's a sample of the scripted humor in this film. Roberts drives Miss Manning to the sanitarium over a very bad road. She is bounced all over the back seat. When they get to the sanitarium, she gives him a piece of her mind. The film script reads, "If you were a doctor, I could show you bruises that would astound the medical world."

And, here are some more pieces of dialog to match the very funny video. Uncle Wilberforce (Melbourne MacDowell), "What's wrong? I don't kiss often, but I've never had a complaint." Uncle Edgar (George Irving), "What shall we do? He'll ruin 21 years of antiseptic supervision."

Typewritten note: "Dear Miss Manning. Things is pretty dead. Hoping you are the same. Sylvester Zilch, Caretaker."

Todd, "Stop talking and give your nose a rest."

Barbara, "Do whatever one does to start the vehicle – and let us away over hill and dale."(sic) … "Keep the vehicle stationary while I lubricate my larynx."

Todd, "Wilfred sprained his head in a conference… Mr. Brewster has laughing asthma." Barbara, "Remember, Mr. Brewster, a spray a day keeps the microbes away."

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