Nellie Rimplegar has to tell her grown children that due to her bungled handling of their finances, the family has been wiped out by the Stock Market crash. Friend and family doctor, Alan ... See full summary »
An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.
Fabius loves his beautiful but vulnerable city, Rome, and he also loves his beautiful but invulnerable fiancée, Amytis. Fascinated by the tales she has heard about Hannibal, who is about to... See full summary »
Clyde King, a toy store employee whose hobbies include making wooden toys and stalking women, is coveted by the female owner of one of the biggest toy companies in the world. She is ... See full summary »
William Powell plays William Foster, a slick attorney who stays within the law, but specializes in representing crooks and shady characters. He's adept at keeping them out of jail, winning ... See full summary »
Lucky Jo and his three friends are little criminals, who try to live from small burglaries. But they never have luck - ever so often something inpredictable happens to Jo and gets one of ... See full summary »
A young singer, Marge Dexter, becomes involved in trouble when she works in a nightclub in which two of the band-members are in reality undercover-police officers who believe that the club is the headquarters of a dangerous gang of crooks.
Nellie Rimplegar has to tell her grown children that due to her bungled handling of their finances, the family has been wiped out by the Stock Market crash. Friend and family doctor, Alan Stevens, tells them they'll all need to eliminate their extravagant ways and get jobs. Stevens also rents a room in their house more as a way to be near pretty Elizabeth Rimplegar, than to help their finances. Stevens faces competition from Elizabeth's beau, Ronald, a free-loading writer who remains oblivious to her money woes. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Sweepin' the Clouds Away
Music by Sam Coslow
Played during the opening credits and at the end See more »
A saga of an eccentric family and their struggles with the Depression
This film is charming largely because of the lead Claudette Colbert, whose elfin presence makes it all come alive. The film itself never wholly overcomes its origins as a play by Gertrude Tonkonogy (died 1989) written for the stage rather than the screen, her play of the same title having opened in March of 1933 and been released in this film version within four months of that. Clearly the producers were looking urgently for a 'feel good' story which drew comfort from a cheerful survival of the hard times. The story features an eccentric family, the father of which is dead, named Rimpelgar, Colbert being the only daughter. The Rimpelgars live in a huge rambling house in Brooklyn, that part of New York which is not Manhattan and is on the wrong side of the river, and which in their day, the 1930s, was a fine place to live. (Today, that can only be said of patches of Brooklyn, though there is an ongoing struggle to make it regain its dignity.) They do not have Brooklyn accents because they are rich people, or were before the father died. Now the dotty mother (played by Mary Boland) has lost everything through being, well, an idiot, and letting a scoundrel take it all and invest it in a worthless phoney mine called Three-Cornered Moon. (This must have been clearer in the play, because in the film the reason for the title is pretty obscure and mentioned only in passing.) So they are all suddenly thrown out of non-work into hard work, the daughter and her three brothers. The eldest brother is played by Wallace Ford, and what a surprise it is to see him as he was before he became the grizzled elderly character actor that he played in so many films decades later. Yes, the times are hard, as it is the Depression. There are many times when they all have nothing to eat and sit at a grand dining table with only a little bread between them. But they 'smile through', and all ends happily, despite a great deal of worry, tension, and stress. There is a side story about Colbert being in love with a self-indulgent would-be writer who is always working on Chapter Fourteen of the great novel which is never finished. She puts up with him for most of the film, to our great disgust, until she finally is freed from her blind love, sees the light, and dumps him. There are a lot of jokes about the Polish maid (Lyda Roberti) who cannot speak English and calls flowers 'George', but although that may all have been funny in the 1930s, it isn't now. The film does not lead to grim fate but smiling through gets them through, and this must have been a tonic for a weary public struggling to emerge from the Depression which was supposed to be over but, like the one now, is not over at all except in theory or because some politician says so. Maybe as things go on getting worse, we can recommend this film to our friends and contemporaries today, and let them remember that in 1932 a great deal of Claudette Colbert and her family 'smiling through' took place, so that we ought to try a little of that ourselves. If we can force the smiles, that is.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?