Wealthy young man takes a job as a WPA ditch digger and falls for an immigrant girl and divorces his wife and tries to help the poor.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John Worth Hyndman
...
Osa
...
Manuel Lombroso
Cobina Wright ...
Linda Hyndman
Stanley Clements ...
Patrick Henry Lombroso
Minerva Urecal ...
Teresa Lombroso
Thurston Hall ...
T.J. Triton
Irving Bacon ...
Mr. Smedley
Leonard Carey ...
Flowers
Oscar O'Shea ...
Magistrate
John T. Murray ...
Wardman
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Storyline

Wealthy young man takes a job as a WPA ditch digger and falls for an immigrant girl and divorces his wife and tries to help the poor.

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Drama

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Approved
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11 July 1941 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Trivia

John Banner's film debut. See more »

Goofs

When George Montgomery appears with his shirt off, his normally hairy chest is completely shaved and buffed, but, later on, when he's wearing workmen's clothes with an open shirt collar, his chest hair is plainly visible. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A harmless little romantic comedy
9 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you read some of the short summaries of this film, it sounds like it could be a bit heavy and our hero could be a bit unlikable. Nothing could be further from the truth. This hour long film is basically sweetness and light, although of a different variety than you normally see of this era. It's a celebration of the immigrant experience and embodies an optimism that was finally emerging after 11 long years of the Great Depression.

A "poor but pedigreed" young man (George Montgomery as John Hyndman) marries the spoiled daughter (Cobina Wright as Linda) of a wealthy industrialist (Thurston Hall as T.J. Triton). He's unhappy with his un-job as first vice-president (translation - yes man) at his father-in-law's company. He's unhappy with his un-marriage - his wife thinks of him as part trophy and part Pekinese. He wants out of both. Request denied.

So one day John just disappears into the poor and heavily immigrant occupied part of New York. He runs across a group of men shoveling and decides he would like to do some real work for a change and asks for a job digging too. Believe it or not, his admirable goal is met with some resistance. However with some cleverness and persistence on his part and some encouragement on the part of an attractive young immigrant passerby (Osa Massen as Osa) he gets the job, and he discovers he does indeed like hard work. He becomes friends with and the boarder of his boss Manuel (J. Carroll Naish) and a romance grows between himself and Osa. He learns from the other tenants in the apartment house in which he lives that the place is falling apart - bad plumbing, ceiling plaster falling off, peeling paint, insufficient lighting. But there is one thing they get in abundance from the landlord - continuous rent hikes. The skinflint landlord is - you guessed it - John's father-in-law T.J. Triton. The tenants then come to John and ask him to talk to Triton about the living conditions in his buildings. Remember, nobody here knows who John really is. They think he was a homeless immigrant when they found him who desperately needed a job.

So how does John approach this? He's been missing for six weeks from a wife that doesn't mind if he stays lost but has already told him there will be no divorce since that would make her the laughing stock of "her crowd". Watch and find out. I think you'll be entertained.

Special recognition needs to go to J. Carroll Naish as bigger than life immigrant supervisor Manuel. He's proud of his new country and keeps a picture of FDR prominently displayed in his flat - he even writes to the President once a month. That may seem a bit over the top in 2011, but it works well to underscore the spirit of the immigrants portrayed in this film at a time when hard work was respected and fair play by both rich and poor was still expected.


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