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John owns the largest chain of five and ten cent stores in the country. He moves his family to New York from Kansas City and their life, though grand, is falling apart due to his constant working. Wife and mother Jenny is lonely. Son Avery hates his job. Daughter Jennifer is snubbed by classmate Muriel and her friends. At a charity bazaar, Jennifer meets Berry and sparks are evident. However, he is engaged to Muriel and Muriel will make sure that she, and only she, marries Berry. After the marriage, Berry still thinks of Jennifer as Jennifer thinks of Berry. Avery laments about the state of his family since they were happy in Kansas City. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
The daughter of a FIVE AND TEN store mogul is accused of trying to crash high society when she falls in love with a handsome architect.
As mistress of William Randolph Hearst & chatelaine of San Simeon, California's most fabulous residence, Marion Davies was a Very Important Star at MGM in the early 1930's. A good actress & extremely talented comedienne, she longed to venture out into strongly dramatic roles. Unfortunately, Hearst preferred seeing her in lightweight fluff films, and even soap operas, which FIVE AND TEN unmistakably is, still left her with some silly plots to wade through. Hearst's crushing grasp on her career at MGM, and later at Warner's - even with an occasional good picture - explains as well as anything else why her films have remained so obscure for decades.
Despite lavish production values, Davies & her romantic interest, Leslie Howard, are bogged down by the turgid story line, making it difficult for the audience to find much empathy with their wealthy woes. Davies' infectious good spirits and Howard's trademark sophistication only rarely are allowed to escape. Their one good sequence - locked on the rooftop of the world's tallest building for a night - comes too late.
Irene Rich, as Davies lonely mother, fares little better.
The film does boast two excellent performances, however, which should be noted. Veteran stage actor Richard Bennett (1872-1944) is splendid as Davies' distracted father, a man so obsessed with accumulating more power that he doesn't notice the disintegration of his own family. As Davies' disillusioned younger brother, Kent Douglass (1907-1966) is first-rate in a role which has him descend from giddy youth into eventual depression & madness. Both gentlemen rescue the film from completely sinking into melodramatics.
Movie mavens will recognize Henry Armetta as a cabby, and the wonderful Halliwell Hobbes as Bennett's butler, both uncredited.
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