7.4/10
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43 user 5 critic

Merrily We Live (1938)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 4 March 1938 (USA)
Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Grosvenor - Butler
...
...
Etta
...
Minerva Harlan
...
Clarence Kolb ...
...
...
Mrs. Harlan
...
Herbert Wheeler
Willie Best ...
George
...
2nd Butler
...
Senator Harlan
Marjorie Kane ...
Rosa
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Storyline

Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a chauffeur's uniform. He also catches the eye of her pretty Geraldine. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tramp | servant | hobo | chauffeur | wealth | See All (55) »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Madame et son clochard  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although not credited onscreen or noted by reviewers or the SAB, this film is so similar to What a Man (1930) (same plot and even many of the same character names) that the source of the screenplay must surely be the same for both films. Both the 1924 novel "The Dark Chapter; a Comedy of Class Distinctions" by E.J. Rath and the play "They All Want Something" has been added to the writers section. The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 12 October 1926 and closed in December 1926 after 62 performances. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Kilbourne: Maybe he didn't have a father.
Mrs. Emily Kilbourne: Oh darling, everyone has a father, that's one of nature's unwritten laws.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Behind the opening credits, the cast walks arm in arm up the driveway towards the camera. See more »

Connections

Remade as Escuela de vagabundos (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Boys Are Marching)
(1864) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by George Frederick Root
Sung a cappella by Bonita Granville
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User Reviews

 
Great forgotten comedy
3 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rich, scatterbrained Emily Kilbourne (Billie Burke) has the habit of bringing in down-on-their-luck, homeless men to help them much to the disgust of her husband and children. They usually rob her blind and leave. Then Wade Rawlins (Brian Aherne) who just LOOKS down and out enters her life and she invites him in and he starts to change the whole family...for the better.

The plot IS predictable but this is still a very funny screwball comedy. The script is great with one liners flying fast and furious. The entire cast is up for it--Burke is just great and received an Oscar nomination for her performance; Aherne is just OK; Constance Bennett is wonderful as Jerry who falls for Rawlins and Alan Mowbray has some very funny sequences as the family butler. Catchy title tune too (also nominated for an Oscar).

The romance between Bennett is Aherne is a bit too predictable and there's a very rushed ending. Also an offensive black stereotype is thrown in at the end. Still this is a fast, funny, wonderful film that deserves to be better known. Recommended.

Good luck finding a good print--the only one available is in terrible condition.


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