Father Is a Prince (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  18 November 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 86 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Carpet-sweeper manufacturer John Bower has no patience with inefficiency, lawyers, or vacuum cleaners. He's a bit of a skinflint, too. His family thinks he works too hard. He feels inferior... See full summary »


(as Noel Smith)


(screen play), (from a play by) (as Sophie Kerr Underwood) , 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Nana Bryant ...
Susan Bower
Dr. Mark Stone
Gary Lee
Jan Clayton ...
Connie Bower
Lee Patrick ...
Tess Haley
Billy Dawson ...
Tommy Bower
Richard Clayton ...
Junior Bower
John Ridgely ...
Income Tax Investigator
Vera Lewis ...
Ben Haley
Pierre Watkin ...
Mr. Lee
Mary Currier ...
Mrs. Lee
Frank Orth ...
Drugstore Proprieter


Carpet-sweeper manufacturer John Bower has no patience with inefficiency, lawyers, or vacuum cleaners. He's a bit of a skinflint, too. His family thinks he works too hard. He feels inferior for not having gone to college, so now he doesn't want his children going, either. His daughter Connie is afraid to break the news of her engagement to Gary Lee, especially since not only is Gary a lawyer and a college grad, but his father owns a vacuum-cleaner company, too. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big-Hearted Herbert  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 1 January 1934 and ran for 154 performances. In the opening night cast were Guy D'Ennery, George Lessey, J.C. Nugent and Elisabeth Risdon. See more »


Version of Big Hearted Herbert (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

What to value in life
5 January 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

A play entitled Big Hearted Herbert was the original source for this film from Warner Brothers B picture unit Father Is A Prince. No stars in this one but a nice and solid group of character players make this film a real gem.

The central character is Grant Mitchell, married and father of three children and as miserable a tightwad as you will ever imagine. The look of anguish on Mitchell's face as the mailman asks him to part with three cents for postage due is priceless. So you can imagine what it must have been like when he's informed by an IRS investigator that he owes Uncle Sam $8000.00 and his only choice is whether to have winter in Leavenworth or Alcatraz. Mind you this is because he saved money buy not having his books and his income tax done by an accountant.

Now Mitchell is having to deal with daughter Jan Clayton getting married to George Reeves and the expenses that entails. But far more serious on the horizon for him is wife Nana Bryant who's been having dizzy spells lately that concern family doctor John Litel.

All I can say is that her health crisis is enough to see that Mitchell has been placing too much store by the size of his bank account.

Father Is A Prince seems like a more up to date version of Life With Father and it might be good to see both of these back to back for comparison. This film does not have the posh ambiance of New York of the 1880s nor the A list cast. Still this film has a lot of merit to it along with a good lesson about the wrong things to value in life.

Big Hearted Herbert ran 134 performances on Broadway in the 1934-35 season, a decent run in those Depression years. Possibly had Warner Brothers been willing to invest some real money in the film they might have gotten someone like WC Fields or Jack Benny to play the lead. But Grant Mitchell was just fine in the role.

It was nice to discover this film and hopefully others will as well.

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