Hannah is so tight with her money that she takes her son, Donnie, to the charity ward a week after he hurts his leg. But she has always hoarded her money since her late husband wasted most ... See full summary »
Hannah is so tight with her money that she takes her son, Donnie, to the charity ward a week after he hurts his leg. But she has always hoarded her money since her late husband wasted most of it and now she plans to save it for Donnie. But when Donnie graduates from Princeton, he does not want to go into banking at Hannah's bank, he wants to be a writer, which upsets Hannah. But the greatest blow of all comes when Donnie meets the daughter of the man who jilted Hannah 30 years before. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a biography of Hetty Green, the Witch of Wall Street, a woman who went head to head with the other robber barons of the Gilded Age and who usually came out ahead. They had to change the name for fear of lawsuit by her heirs. It was the common, if apocryphal story of how she made her son go to a free clinic, rather than pay a doctor that sent the lawyers at the studio screaming for a cover name for the character.
In truth, Mrs. Green was a monstrously greedy character who, if she did not sell tainted pork to the Union Army, as did her fellow Robber Baron, Armour, did go to free clinics herself, rather than pay for medical treatment. She also forged her aunt's will and tried to bribe the judge in the case, but those are mere trifles in her story.
Almost inevitably, the writers soften her character, making her more sinned against than sinner in love, and the anonymous benefactress of scrubwomen and so forth. Doubtless people would have refused to see the real story, because there was no real story beyond a woman living a tough life, going head-to-head in the man's world of Wall Street and doing it well. Enough of a story for me, perhaps, but not enough to sell the studios.
The performances are sterling, and May Robson is having a lot of fun playing an out-and-out villainess, much as Edward Arnold would the next year, playing Jim Fisk, the man who precipitated the Panic of 1869. That's softened too. Still, actors love playing villain. They have fun, and the audience does, too. So have some fun and see this one.
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