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Beg, Borrow or Steal (1937)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  3 December 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 106 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

A con man must pass himself off as the owner of a château on the French Riviera when he is expected to host his estranged daughter's wedding.


(as William Thiele)


(short story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Florence Rice ...
John Beal ...
Janet Beecher ...
Mrs. Agatha Steward
Herman Bing ...
Von Giersdorff, aka Count Herman
Erik Rhodes ...
George Givot ...
E.E. Clive ...
Lord Nigel Braemer
Tom Rutherford ...
Horace Miller (as Tom Rutherfurd)
Cora Witherspoon ...
Mrs. Elizabeth Miller
Clifton Summitt
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Harlan Briggs ...
Mr. Virgil Miller


We find con-man Ingraham Steward living by his wits by steering wealthy Paris visitors to sellers of fake paintings and other assorted dodges. He and his wife, Agatha, have been separated for 15 years, but he promises to give their daughter, Joyce, a lavish wedding at his "château" in France. The fact that he doesn't have a château in France is just a minor trifle. He induces the caretaker, Bill Cherau, of a large country estate to allow it to be used for the wedding. The wedding party arrives and Bill falls madly in love with Joyce and she with him, but a gal has gotta do what a gal has gotta do, and her intended marriage to stuffed-shirt Horace Miller stays on the books. But Steward has a change of heart and he tells one and all that he and his friends, Von Gersdorff, Lefevre, Iznamof, Clifton Summitt and Sasch, are all frauds and crooks. Horace and his family stalk out, which is just fine with Joyce as her true love, the caretaker, is waiting on the grounds. That he turns out to be... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

3 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Huijarikerho  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Hummed by Frank Morgan
Played by the orchestra during the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Character actors shine in cute comedy about various phonies
20 August 2012 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Frank Morgan, American expatriate, writes home to his estranged wife and daughter that he is a Riviera millionaire. In fact, he's a sort of wily tourist guide who is not above assisting certain associates in shady art deals that help him pay the rent.

So imagine Morgan's surprise and chagrin when his engaged daughter's prospective in-laws accept his invitation to hold the wedding at his château! Always the con man, he quickly borrows a château from a wealthy friend, figuring the wedding party will surely come and go home before anyone catches on. –Yes, it's a classic case of What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The first third of this picture is amusing but a bit slow—it's a long setup, and we get the feeling that we have a pretty good idea exactly where the story is going. It gets livelier, however, and less predictable too—the plot does contain surprises, and it all develops into a very sweet movie featuring not only Morgan but a wild range of supporting characters, all of them nutty and all delightfully acted.

John Beal and Florence Rice are charming and beautiful as the romantic leads. Beal is the actual château owner posing as the caretaker as a favor to his friend Morgan; Rice is the American daughter who may be marrying the wrong man. Herman Bing, Reginald Denny and Vladimir Sokoloff are among the large and varied cast of Morgan's buddies posing as nobility. E.E. Clive steals scenes as a genuine nobleman presumed to be another impostor.

A plot that squeezes in some surprises, plenty of amusing dialog, and lots and lots of great character actors….After this picture picks up steam toward the midpoint, it's both cute and funny.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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