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Babbitt (1934)

Middle aged George F. Babbitt is a leading citizen in the town of Zenith, the fastest growing community in America according to its town sign. George is a large part of that growth as a ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tanis Judique
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Verona Babbitt
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Ted Babbitt
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Zilla Reisling
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Commissioner Lyle Gurnee
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Eunice Littlefield (as Nan Gray)
Walter Walker ...
Luke Ethorne
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Zeke
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District Attorney
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Martin Gunch
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Storyline

Middle aged George F. Babbitt is a leading citizen in the town of Zenith, the fastest growing community in America according to its town sign. George is a large part of that growth as a property developer and realtor. He is lovingly married to his wife Myra, the two who have two children, Ted and Verona who are approaching adulthood. George has always had a fearless attitude, much like that of a naive child, which has led to his business success. He encounters some personal stresses when he faces what he believes is a potential home-wrecking issue, and when his oldest friend Paul and his wife Zilla deal with domestic problems. These stresses make George want to provide even more to his own family, leading to George agreeing to participate in a less than scrupulous but lucrative business dealing. George's bravura gets him into a potential scandal. This situation makes him question his general behavior, especially toward his family. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HE'S A 100% BIG SHOT! 25% WINDBAG 25% WISE GUY 25%...SUCKER 25%.......SAP (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express, ((Buffalo, NY)) 18 January 1935)

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

8 December 1934 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $10,000 in blackmail would equal over $180,000 in 2016. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film at the breakfast table, when the toast pops out of the toaster and startles the maid, the bread is white in close-up. Then in the next long shot Mrs. Babbitt takes the toast out of the toaster and it's burnt black. See more »

Quotes

George F. Babbitt: Come, Zill. What you need to do is get your feet hot and your head cool.
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Connections

Version of Babbitt (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

Blues Ain't Nothing but a Good Man Feeling Bad
(uncredited)
Traditional folk blues
Sung by Hattie McDaniel
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User Reviews

 
Ripe for a Remake
13 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

First, thanks to TCM for programming this. As big a fan of Lewis's work as I am, I'd never seen it.

It's a pretty decent adaptation. Not great, but solid and well done. Modern audiences will be puzzled about the dominance of white males in the society of 1974 and the political correctness crowd will shudder to see minorities in a subservient role and characters smoking in almost every scene.

For those unfamiliar with BABBITT, it's about a small town businessman who has totally bought into the boosterism of the business world. George Babbitt is a Realtor and a valued member of the Zebra lodge. In sharp contrast his best friend from college, Paul, has not done as well materially and is content with his lot in life and his two main pursuits besides his job are playing his violin and trying to ignore the constant nagging of his shrewish wife.

One night at dinner the subject turns to what the various characters want out of life. Paul comments that George doesn't seem interested in anything he can't touch. The aftermath of a shooting that sets tongues wagging and a shady real estate deal cause George to reexamine his goals and his lot in life.

The novel is a classic, and after 74 years ripe for a remake. Bill Murray would be a tremendous George, and maybe Steve Martin as Paul.

It will take a writer/director with real guts not to update the characters' attitudes and values. Come on, Hollywood. Everything else is getting remade, including ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. Give BABBITT a shot, too.


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