6.3/10
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Stranger in Town (1931)

TV-PG | | Drama | 6 August 1931 (USA)
Ulysses Crickle owns a small town grocery store, doubling as the post office, dealing with the peculiarities of the townspeople. Jerry Fleming arrives to run a rival business and to romance Crickle's granddaughter Marian.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ulysses Crickle
...
Marian Crickle
...
Jerry Fleming
...
J.B. Hilliker
...
Elmer
...
Brice
...
Mrs. Petrick
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Storyline

Ulysses Crickle owns a small town grocery store, doubling as the post office, dealing with the peculiarities of the townspeople. Jerry Fleming arrives to run a rival business and to romance Crickle's granddaughter Marian.

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small town | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

6 August 1931 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film talkie debut for Charles 'Chic' Sale. See more »

Goofs

Crickle receives a letter stating he will lose his post office role starting June 01. After he loses this job there is a time passing montage of pages coming off of a wall calendar. However the montage starts with the May calendar page but it must already be at least June. See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Call You Sweetheart
(1910) (uncredited)
Music by Leo Friedman
Lyrics by Beth Slater Whitson
Sung by the folks outside the general store
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User Reviews

 
Remember the Depression?
22 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

Chic Sale was a major Vaudeville star who also appeared on Broadway and in silent films. In this 1931 film from Warners, Sale made his feature-film talkie debut after a few shorts.

He plays Ulysses Crickle, a man who stops "going west" when he gets a boil on his butt from riding in a Conestoga wagon. He decides the start a town on the spot. Fifty years later, we see Crickle as the leading citizen of his Arkansas town. He's the postmaster and he owns the general store. His granddaughter (Ann Dvorak) comes home from business college, and everything seems fine.

But being 1931, things are changing fast. A chain supermarket decides to open a store in town, right across the street from Crickle's. The man sent to open the store (David Manners) falls for Dvorak and becomes Crickle's enemy. The chain store, being a big corporation, fights dirty to drive Crickle out of business. Crickle can't compete with their prices so he institutes a barter system so the locals can get food even when they have no money. Of course Manners is innocent of his company's shenanigans and helps Crickle beat them in the end.

Interesting 1931 looks at the rise of chain stores and how how they ruined local "mom and pop" businesses and also the barter system, which was a fact of life for many during the Depression.

Sale is quite good as Crickle in a role that could have been played by Will Rogers. Dvorak and Manners are good as the young lovers, though they don't have much to do. Other town folks include Noah Beery as Crickle's nemesis, Maude Eburne as the widow with romance on her mind, Raymond Hatton as the wiseguy, Lyle Talbot as the corporate man, and Ben Hall as the store clerk. J. Farrell MacDonald, Louise Carter, Jessie Arnold, Wilfred Lucas, Dorothy Vernon, and Margaret Mann also appear.


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