Socially-conscious banker Thomas Dickson faces a crisis when his protégé is wrongly accused for robbing the bank, gossip of the robbery starts a bank run, and evidence suggests Dickson's wife had an affair...all in the same day.
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It's the 1930s, the Depression era, and the Board of Directors of Thomas Dickson's bank want Dickson to merge with New York Trust and resign. He refuses. One night, Dickson's bank is robbed of $100,000. The suspect is Matt Brown, an ex-convict whom Dickson hired and appointed Chief Teller. Brown, who's very loyal to Dickson, refuses to say where he was that night. He actually has two witnesses for his alibi, Mrs. Dickson and fellow worker Cyril Cluett, but Brown is protecting Dickson from finding out that Mrs. Dickson was with Cluett having a romantic evening. Cluett, who has a $50,000 gambling debt, is actually responsible for the robbery, but lets Brown take the rap. Will Brown's loyalty to Mr. Dickson pay off, or send him back to prison? Written by
Allan Dwan, who started the picture but was replaced by Capra, later made "The Inside Story" for Republic in 1948, a movie that had a similar outlook and message as "American Madness." See more »
During the robbery scene, a cable can be seen protruding from the guard's trousers. See more »
Matt! I want you both to take the day off, go downtown, get a license, and get married right away.
[Matt starts to protest]
I don't want to hear any more about it. If you don't get married I'm going to fire the both of you. Helen, while you're downtown, you might stop in and make reservations for the bridal suite on the Berengeria, sailing next week.
Gee, thanks, Mr. Dickson.
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I like the early Frank Capra films like this one and It Happened One Night better than his later films like Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and Meet John Doe. This movie stars Walter Huston as a bank president who's partners don't like the way he runs the bank and want him to resign. They can't make him and there's really nothing they can do. When an employee gets in debt to some gangsters for $50,000 dollars and he doesn't have the money, the gangsters tell him what to do so they can sneak in that night and rob the bank. During the robbery, a security guard is killed and word gets around town that the bank is broke. A mob of people show up and want to take their money out. They run out of money pretty quick and they have a hard time finding some more. Pat O'Brien also stars as Huston's friend and an employee who's in charge of the money. There's even more plot that deals with Huston's wife and the employee who was in debt with the gangsters.
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