Depression Era story set in London has department store owner (Lewis Stone) facing bankruptcy while his family fritters away money. A long-standing employee (Lionel Barrymore) gets fired ... See full summary »
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Depression Era story set in London has department store owner (Lewis Stone) facing bankruptcy while his family fritters away money. A long-standing employee (Lionel Barrymore) gets fired but finds new life in a home-based bakery. The owner's wife (Benita Hume) can't face life without money, so she runs off with another man. The tables turn, however, when a last-minute reprieve saves the store and a new relationship is forged between the men. Written by
Set in Great Britain, everyone except Barrymore has a British accent. He is a bookkeeper for a large firm, and is let go by the president of the firm. Filmed in 1933, its a statement on the depression, and the lack of available jobs. How timely that Turner Classics shows this now, as this is occurring today all over the U.S. Barrymore is Tim Benton, father to Elsie (Viva Tattersall) and the dashing Willie ( Douglas Walton). Viewers will recognize Lewis Stone as Mr. Service, the head of the firm that fired Benton. Stone and Barrymore had been in Grand Hotel together in 1932. We see the contrast between Service's family and Benton's family, and how they are all forced to cut back. The actresses playing the wives, Mrs. Benton ( Doris Lloyd) and Mrs. Service ( Benita Hume) were both from England, and came by their accents naturally. Everyone does a fine job, although it DOES run like a play (on which it is based).... we don't really see any character development or emotions... it's all action-based, and moves right along. Directed and produced by Clarence Brown, who had worked several times with Greta Garbo and Barrymore. Garbo was ALSO in Grand Hotel, which may explain the connection to Stone and Barrymore. One of Barrymore's lesser known works.... he made Dinner at Eight (and SIX other films) the same year!
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