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American Madness (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 15 August 1932 (USA)
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.

Directors:

(as Frank R. Capra), (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writer:

(story and dialogue)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Mrs. Phyllis Dickson
...
Helen
...
Cyril Cluett
...
Ives
...
Inspector (as Robert E. O'Conner)
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Storyline

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 Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Faith  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to soundman Edward Bernds: "Allan Dwan started the picture and worked about a week or ten days on it... Dwan made even Walter Huston look bad, and we wondered how long it would take Cohn and Briskin to wake up to the fact. When [Capra] took the picture over, threw out everything that had been shot before, and started over again, I fully realized, for the first time, what directing really was. Scenes that had been dull became lively, performances that had been dead came alive." See more »

Goofs

During the robbery scene, a cable can be seen protruding from the guard's trousers. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Thomas Dickson: Matt! I want you both to take the day off, go downtown, get a license, and get married right away.
[Matt starts to protest]
Thomas Dickson: 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.
Matt Brown: Gee, thanks, Mr. Dickson.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Frank Capra I Knew: Jeanine Basinger (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude No.12
(uncredited)
Music by Karl Hajos
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User Reviews

 
Huston's speech early on is very relevant today to our current economic woes.
8 February 2009 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Huston's speeches especially in the early board room scene, are very relevant today. He expounds on the ways that greed causes the downfall of the economy---sound familiar? The banks that now are withholding credit after being bailed out would do well to heed his message. And, back then, mergers were still a method of making the rich even richer. Are you listening, Mr. President?

Huston is a benevolent character to his staff but neglects his wife, who apparently has to visit him at the bank to have any contact. The message is very clear there--strive for balance in your life or you may end up losing what is important to you. THe characterizations are wonderful---Sterling Holloway who raised his voice an octave later to voice Winnie the Pooh, is a bank drone with a one-liner that will crack you up. The telephone operator with the annoying voice who causes chaos is another great character. And one of the gossip callers looked so much like Joan Crawford--could it be she?


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