35 user 23 critic

American Madness (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 15 August 1932 (USA)
Socially-conscious banker Thomas Dickson faces a crisis when his protégé is wrongly accused for robbing the bank, gossip of the robbery starts a bank run, and evidence suggests Dickson's wife had an affair...all in the same day.


Frank Capra (as Frank R. Capra), Allan Dwan (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


Robert Riskin (story and dialogue)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Walter Huston ... Thomas A. Dickson
Pat O'Brien ... Matt
Kay Johnson ... Mrs. Phyllis Dickson
Constance Cummings ... Helen
Gavin Gordon ... Cyril Cluett
Arthur Hoyt ... Ives
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Inspector (as Robert E. O'Conner)


It's the 1930s, the Depression era, and the Board of Directors of Thomas Dickson's bank want Dickson to merge with New York Trust and resign. He refuses. One night, Dickson's bank is robbed of $100,000. The suspect is Matt Brown, an ex-convict whom Dickson hired and appointed Chief Teller. Brown, who's very loyal to Dickson, refuses to say where he was that night. He actually has two witnesses for his alibi, Mrs. Dickson and fellow worker Cyril Cluett, but Brown is protecting Dickson from finding out that Mrs. Dickson was with Cluett having a romantic evening. Cluett, who has a $50,000 gambling debt, is actually responsible for the robbery, but lets Brown take the rap. Will Brown's loyalty to Mr. Dickson pay off, or send him back to prison? Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story that you and yours are living today-You live it-You'll love it (Print Ad-Woodville Republican ((Woodville, Miss.)) 7 January 1933) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Walter Huston (on loan from MGM) worked 4 weeks and 6 days on this production. Louis B. Mayer exercised a provision in his 1931 contract extending it for his participation in this film. See more »


During the robbery scene, a cable can be seen protruding from the guard's trousers. See more »


[last lines]
Thomas Dickson: Matt! I want you both to take the day off, go downtown, get a license, and get married right away.
[Matt starts to protest]
Thomas Dickson: I don't want to hear any more about it. If you don't get married I'm going to fire the both of you. Helen, while you're downtown, you might stop in and make reservations for the bridal suite on the Berengeria, sailing next week.
Matt Brown: Gee, thanks, Mr. Dickson.
See more »


Featured in Frank Capra: Collaboration (2006) See more »


Prelude No.12
Music by Karl Hajos
See more »

User Reviews

"You're passing up the whitest man on Earth for a dirty no-good..."
1 October 2016 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Wonderful Depression-era movie about a bank president (Walter Huston) who has more than his share of troubles - his board of directors is criticizing his every move, his wife is looking for love in all the wrong places, and his favorite employee (Pat O'Brien) is accused of robbing the bank. It's notable today for being directed by Frank Capra and for having a few similarities to his later classic It's a Wonderful Life (particularly the bank run). Good cast backing up Huston and O'Brien, who are both terrific, includes Kay Johnson, Gavin Gordon, Edwin Maxwell, Arthur Hoyt, Berton Churchill, the lovely Constance Cummings, and Sterling Holloway. Some nice directorial touches from Capra, great script from Robert Riskin, and attractive photography from Joseph Walker. An early taste of the kinds of classics Capra would later make - socially conscious dramas with some humor, heart, and ultimately an optimistic outlook on life. You can't go wrong with Capra or, for that matter, Walter Huston. Anything involving these two is worth a look, particularly if it's from the 1930s.

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Release Date:

15 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Faith See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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