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Success at Any Price (1934)

 -  Drama  -  16 March 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 138 users  
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Joe comes from a rough neighborhood and when his brother Mike is gunned down in 1927, he decides to go into legitimate business. He wants to make a lot of money and fast so he is ambitious ... See full summary »



(from the play by), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Success at Any Price (1934)

Success at Any Price (1934) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Complete credited cast:
Joe Martin
Nydia Westman ...
Henry Kolker ...
Allen Vincent ...
Geoffrey Halliburton


Joe comes from a rough neighborhood and when his brother Mike is gunned down in 1927, he decides to go into legitimate business. He wants to make a lot of money and fast so he is ambitious and rude. He wants what he cannot have and that includes Aggie who is the gal pal of Merritt, his boss. He works his way up the ladder and finds that all the money and all the crooked deals will not buy happiness. Written by Tony Fontana <>

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TV-G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Success at Any Price  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play, "Success Story," opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 26 September 1932 and closed in January 1933 after 121 performances. The opening night cast included Stella Adler as Sarah, Franchot Tone as Raymond, Luther Adler and Morris Carnovsky. See more »


Allen Vincent's character name was spelled "Geoffrey" in the credits but was "Jeffrey" on his office door. See more »


Little White Lies
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Walter Donaldson
Played as background music in a bar
See more »

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User Reviews

Incomplete Drama
8 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Joe Martin (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) is a poor guy who never gets any breaks. He sits and wonders what it'd be like to be rich with his girlfriend Sarah (Colleen Moore), but can't seem to plot a scheme to achieve wealth. Finally, he realizes that he can weasel his way into Sarah's office by taking advantage of Mr. Merritt's (Frank Morgan) taste for a good gamble. He achieves his goal, and skyrockets to the top so fast, Mr. Merritt isn't able to say a word before Joe steals his society girlfriend Agnes Carter (Genevieve Tobin). Agnes knows that Joe only wants her because she represents what he can't have, but she marries him anyway, and the more Joe gets what he thinks he wants, the more unhappy he becomes.

This film tries unsuccessfully to fully illustrate its point that happiness is not always achieved through the methods society glorifies. Joe does all he can to better himself thinking he'll be happier with Mr. Merritt's job when true happiness was his in Sarah all along. However, the movie is much too short, and although his motives are explained in short throwaway sentences, his actions do not always make sense from one moment to the next. If more time were given to shooting (this movie is less than 90 minutes long) and a little more dialogue added to the script, it could have been a much better film.

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