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Beg, Borrow or Steal (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 3 December 1937 (USA)
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.

Director:

(as William Thiele)

Writers:

(short story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Florence Rice ...
John Beal ...
Janet Beecher ...
Mrs. Agatha Steward
Herman Bing ...
Von Giersdorff, aka Count Herman
Erik Rhodes ...
Lefevre
George Givot ...
Izmanov
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
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Huijarikerho  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television broadcast in Los Angeles Monday 20 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); its earliest documented telecasts in San Francisco occurred 1 December 1959 on KGO-TV and in New York City 29 November 1962 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Soundtracks

The Volga Boatman
Composer unknown
Played by the orchestra when Sascha and Izmanov enter
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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.


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