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Young man comes home to get ready to take over the family company, only to find that his father has been corrupted by power. In addition, he falls for the daughter of one of his father's poverty-stricken workers. Written by
Not one of Edward Arnold's better pictures, but entertaining
I purchased this movie on VHS from Moviesunlimited.com a while back and just got around t watching it today. I'm a big fan of Mr. Arnold's and have seen most of his movies. I've seen good ones, I've seen bad ones...this one is around the middle.
It is an independent film he made in 1953. (He didn't make many movies after 1950.) Anyway, the story is about a machine magnate named J.r. Compton (Arnold), who takes his son Ray (Agar) into the family business after he graduates from college. His plan is for Ray to take over the firm. As the two drive up to the company we get a glimpse of Compton's mercurial behavior. In the first five minutes of the film he fires an employee (John Hamilton) that has been with him for not having the sign on the building changed to read "Compton and Son". He reinforces the point of the firing by taking a sword off the wall and slices a trash bin in two with it. He then shows Ray where the employees live. (It seems everyone in the town works for Arnold's company an he provides housing.) They are only allowed to grow petunias in front of their homes and if they don't like it, they can find another job. (Fat chance at that!) Compton Sr. even has the "right" girl for his son to marry: a frosty blonde whose father is also wealthy.
Compton, Jr. decides that he wants to learn the job from the ground up and chooses to work in the factory. The foreman is willing to help him until he learns that he's J.R.'s son and gives him the cold shoulder, thinking the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. As they are working, he frostily warns him to put on protective glasses. He doesn't and injures his eye. J.R. fires the foreman and gets his friend the banker to fire the foreman's daughter (Susan Morrow). Ray gets wind of it and forces his father to rehire the foreman, which he does, albeit reluctantly.
One night Ray gets beat up by two thugs. Compton, Sr. feels it is in retaliation for firing the foreman. He tells the staff on loudspeaker that unless they give up who it was that beat up his son, he will fire ten men for each day they are silent. Once again Ray gets wind of this and stops his father's megalomania.
In the meantime, Ray dumps Princess Frosty Locks and begins seeing Morrow. They fall in love and he asks her to marry him. She urns him down, saying she is from the wrong side of the tracks. he refuses t take no for an answer and they plan to marry.
In the meantime, the company wants to unionize and Ray is all for it, J.r. gets wind of it and confronts his son. A fight ensues and J.R makes disparaging remarks about ray's deceased mother and tries to attack him with a fireplace poker. Ray escapes and leaves J.R. sobbing in front of the portrait of his late wife over the fireplace.
Later that night, J.R. goes to the factory and makes a piece of machinery from some blueprints. By doing this menial task, he realizes hat he has lost sight of what it means to be humble and caring. He then changes his ways and approves of his son's marriage, giving her a necklace that had belonged to his late wife, Ray's mother. He also gives ray the do hickey he made in the machine shop, under glass, so that he will never lose sight of how to treat people, like he once had. Oh yea, and they found the two guys that beat up Ray...they were two troublemakers who didn't even work for J.R.'s company.
The one thing I found annoying about this film was the blaring music behind the soundtrack. At times, it was so loud, it distracted me from what the characters were saying.
Still, I would give this movie a five, only because Edward Arnold can make any crap movie enjoyable, even though there were times he chewed up the scenery.
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