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Lonely in his English country estate, Sir Basil decides to gather his grown (albeit illegitimate) children around him in his declining years. He uses a ledger which keeps track of the payments he has been making to ex-lovers to locate 2 of them, and a third is found by a lawyer in New York, her mother was too proud to accept any money. Sir Basil is a curmudgeon, and his three adult children have a hard time with him at first. Toni, the American, is a free spirit who had a budding career in show business. Jeffery is English and a semi-gentleman, and Maria is Italian, with a Latin temperament. They begin to bond, especially Sir Basil and Toni, whose outgoing personality finally wins over the old man. But past lives begin to creep back into the picture and threaten the old man's plans for a life filled with his children. Written by
Rather creaky film is marred by bad sound and obvious stage play origins...
Mercifully, sound has improved tremendously from the early days of "talkies"--most of them based on very static stage plays. THE BACHELOR FATHER is no exception. The only thing it has going for it is a chance to enjoy SIR C. AUBREY SMITH in a delightfully crusty aristocratic role, the kind he was born to play. He does make a fuss over his American daughter--MARION DAVIES in her usual cutie-pie mode, that looks a little out of bounds at times. She's occasionally endearing, but not that endearing! The very British RALPH FORBES plays one of his sons without managing to exhibit any matinée idol charm, while RAY MILLAND--with much less to do--is strikingly attractive in a minor role as another son.
But the action rests mainly on the interaction between C. Aubrey Smith and his plucky daughter--and fans of Miss Davies will no doubt welcome seeing her even though the material is not especially compelling.
Without C. Aubrey Smith, this would be a real dud.
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