Carnie owner Buck Rankin marries local girl Helen and plans to go straight, but after a brawl ends up with a twenty-year sentence for manslaughter. When a pregnant Helen vows to wait for ...
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The Most Precious Thing in Life is a 1934 American film directed by Lambert Hillyer and starring Richard Cromwell, Jean Arthur, Donald Cook, Anita Louise, and Mary Forbes. The film tells a ... See full summary »
Non-citizen Arthur marries reporter Murphy for a bogus gangster's confession. A divorce is needed, and Murphy is fired. The gangster wants her to be his girlfriend, the police are outside, and only one who can save her is Murphy.
Erle C. Kenton
Carnie owner Buck Rankin marries local girl Helen and plans to go straight, but after a brawl ends up with a twenty-year sentence for manslaughter. When a pregnant Helen vows to wait for him Rankin forges a letter from the warden's office informing Helen that Rankin drowned while attempting to escape. Twenty years later Rankin is released from prison, changes his name to "Duke Sheldon", and eventually becomes a nightclub owner with ties to the mob. Helen has remarried - to a local judge - and daughter Sandra has become a reporter. When it's learned that notoriously camera-shy "Duke Sheldon" will be providing a mobster's alibi at a high-profile trial Sandra is sent to write an exposé. She immediately recognizes Rankin from a photo her mother kept, and father and daughter have a tearful reunion. Now Rankin must decide what to do: testify at the trial, revealing his identity and exposing Helen as an unintentional bigamist. Or refuse to testify, protecting Helen and Sandra but angering ... Written by
Notable Jean Arthur film, worth watching to see the beginning of an actor's successful career
Jack Holt is OK in this film but Jean Arthur saves it. The plot is unbelievable, but is noteworthy since it was Arthur's first film for Columbia after her return to Hollywood from the New York stage. Her previous films at Universal were forgettable. According to her biography, it was when executives saw the daily rushes, that they offered her a long term contract.
This movie is also notable in that Frank Capra reviewed her scenes and decided to offer her the part as Babe Bennett in the now classic Mr. Deeds Goes To Town. You can understand why he picked her. It was the beginning of a successful film period, which lasted 20 more years.
It is also interesting and funny to see Allen Jenkins, in a typical side kick role, particularly when he is doing knee bends in front of a window in his underwear.
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