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A girl who's just lost her job meets a drunk millionaire on a bridge who's just lost his money. They go back to his house, and eventually come up with a plan to benefit them both: he'll scrounge enough money together to teach her how to be a lady, and then introduce her to his rich friends so she can snag a husband, after which she'll pay him a finder's fee. Complications ensue. Written by
I knew when I met you tonight that you'd come in handy.
Well that's very kind of you.
But I couldn't figure out how until a minute ago. I suppose you know everyone in the social register don't you?
Well everyone worth knowing. Of course that eliminates most of them.
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Harassed at work by brutish boyfriend Edward Gargan (as Mike O'Reilly), pretty hash-slinging waitress Irene Ware (as Mary Beekman) is fired for causing the commotion. On the way home, Ms. Ware loses her last paycheck to an ill wind, and meets down-on-his luck millionaire Sydney Blackmer (as Kenneth Alden). Obviously imbibed, Mr. Blackmer sees Ware reach for her paycheck, and thinks she's going to jump off a bridge. Ware, conversely, believes the depressed drunk is planning his own suicidal jump...
In addition to his cash flow problems, Blackmer is having trouble proposing to beautiful Betty Compson (as Clarissa Stanhope), due to an "aversion to marriage." Blackmer gives Ware a make-over, and introduces her to Ms. Compson and their "high society" crowd. They plan to get Ware married to a millionaire, with Blackmer getting a "commission" for his services. Soon, Ware falls in love with rich, rough-looking Russell Hopton (as Pat Brennan). Mr. Hopton has the money Ware desires, but harbors a swarthy secret
"False Pretenses" features a great cast and an interesting, albeit flawed, story. Ware and Blackmer have a romantic chemistry that doesn't appear anywhere in the script. Ware is a attractive leading lady and Blackmer, probably best-known for his devilish role in "Rosemary's Baby" (1968), is always charming. You're also left wondering what takes Blackmer so long in seeing the desirable Compson as a good match. And, as "second leads" Compson and Hopton, leave you wanting to see them as headliners.
***** False Pretenses (10/22/35) Charles Lamont ~ Irene Ware, Sidney Blackmer, Betty Compson, Russell Hopton
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