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
As a lowly accountant in a big London department store, Mr. B. doesn't wheeze, waggle his eyebrows, or overact in any way. He's pleasingly restrained as a small, passive cog in a large machine, and so is Lewis Stone, not resorting to any Judge Hardy tricks as the sympathetic but staunch corporate patriarch who must reluctantly let him go. Adapted from a stage play by C.L. Anthony (a pseudonym for Dodie Smith, who wrote "101 Dalmations"), this Depression family drama does acknowledge the Depression more than most early-1930s studio product, and it provides a nice contrast in how these two gentlemen's families (Stone's with greed and self- centeredness, Barrymore's with sacrifice and resolve) react to adversity. It's not thunderingly dramatic and kind of peters out, but as MGM prestige product of the day, it's less showy and artificial than many of its contemporaries.
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