Henrietta Tubbs is the crusty, plain-speaking cook for a railroad-construction camp in Kansas until she inherits a fortune, which she intends to use to further the romance and possible marriage her niece/ward, Wynne Howard, has with the high-society son, Phil Ash-Orcutt... of the snobbish Ash-Orcutts of Staten Island. Phil's mother is a title-worshiping socialite who looks with disdain toward Wynne because she lacks the acceptable family connections much favored by such clans as the Ash-Orcutts of Staten Island. Henrietta hies herself off to England to acquire some table manners and a bought Ladyship. She then returns to New York and things are never quite the same again for the Ash-Orcutts of Staten Island. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
It's a shame this delightful little film isn't better known. It's a reworking of the Damon Runyon story (and Frank Capra film) LADY FOR A DAY and Alice Brady is just perfect as the sassy, smart-talking railroad cook, who bursts into high society to ensure a love match between her niece-ward and the man she has chosen to love.
The plot is simple. Henrietta Tubbs is a cook for a railroad and she is loved by the rough men whom she feeds. Her niece, whom she has been supporting, is about to marry into society, but the prospective in-laws balk at her "common" background. Henrietta inherits $500,000, goes to England to learn manners, and arrives as "Lady Tubbs" to crash New York society and make sure the marriage takes place. There are a lot of twists and turns at the end, which show up the idle rich, but it's Brady's rich characterization that carries the film. This is Thelma Ritter territory and it's a wonder she didn't remake the property.
Douglass Montgomery is the young society gentleman and plays him quite sincerely, although he is not given much of a chance to act. Anita Louise is the niece and Alan Mowbray does a splendid job as the insurance rep who delivers the good news of the inheritance and then stays by Henrietta's side to do a Henry Higgins for her Eliza Dolittle.
This is a delightful film and worthy of more public exposure. Recommended.
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