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Barry Gilbert and "Doc" Norton, broke and hungry, enter the unoccupied Reitter country estate. Soon, servants begin to arrive to prepare to welcome home the prodigal son, John Clark Reitter, Jr., of a newspaper-publisher, who has been away for several years and whom none of the servants know by sight. Barry decides to pose as Junior. The real Reitter (Jr.), before he can reach home, is arrested for murder and his wife, Peggy, appeals to Barry for aid. With the help of a newspaperman and an attorney he manages to establish Reitter's innocence. He also finds time to fall in love with Patricia Hammond and gets a job as a reporter on Reitter's newspaper. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Never break into strangers' houses seeking for 'shelter'...
This is a very entertaining, amusing, and at times even suspenseful lesson about what a mess you can get in if you break into an empty house belonging to complete strangers just because you're broke, hungry and soaking wet from the rain... That's exactly what young Barry Gilbert (Louis Hayward) and his friend 'Doc' Norton do one night - anyway, they're planning to leave right away the next morning, so it's just a slight case of trespassing!
But, when they're mistaken by the servants and even the neighbors and friends for the 'prodigal' son of the house's owner, and in addition find a letter from the son's mother with 500 dollars in it (which, as 'Doc' comments quite rightly when Gilbert puts the money in his pocket
only to give it back later, he assures - adds larceny to their
'criminal record'), Gilbert finally decides to temporarily assume the identity of the son, who's obviously not coming home in the near future
all this luxury and easy living is just too tempting for the cheeky
young fellow! BUT then the real John Reitter Jr., whom Gilbert had hoped to be able to impersonate for quite a while, DOES turn up: in jail, on a murder charge... And so, feeling pity for the boy's mother and wife, who assures him that he's innocent, Gilbert (with the REAL reporter's blood that flows in his veins) tries to solve the case, no matter what the consequences for himself may be...
Quite a nice bit of late 30s' movie entertainment, with elements from comedy to crime to family drama - and obviously very much underrated and forgotten today, although it offers something not only for whodunit fans, but also for friends of a 'lighter' kind of classic cinema. A good cast and a pretty unusual script really make this movie a neat little piece of good old Hollywood nostalgia!
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