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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.


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


(story and dialogue)

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Complete credited cast:
Cyril Cluett
Arthur Hoyt ...
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Inspector (as Robert E. O'Conner)


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




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Faith  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


[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 »


Featured in Frank Capra: Collaboration (2006) See more »


Prelude No.12
Music by Karl Hajos
See more »

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User Reviews

Preachy, but brilliant
6 March 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Walter Huston is supposed to be the star of this movie, and he does a fine job, as always. But wait..... watch for the moment when the panic on the bank begins, and in less than thirty seconds, the bank goes from almost empty to a scene of madness, the American Madness of the title. It's one of the most brilliantly choreographed and directed scenes in the entire history of the movies.

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