American Madness (1932) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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?

  • For twenty-five years, Tom Dickson, the President of Union National Bank, has had the bank, its employees and its clients in his best interest. In turn, his employees and the bank's clients are fiercely loyal to Tom and the bank. The bank's Board of Directors have a different view. They accuse Tom of being reckless, especially in being overly liberal in approving what they consider questionable loans. Tom defends his loan policy, stating that money in circulation is what is needed to help the country get out of the depression. The Board will do whatever it needs to to remove Tom from his position. When the bank is robbed of $200,000, one of Tom's most loyal employees, Matt Brown, the newly appointed assistant head cashier, is implicated as the thief, although Tom believes Matt is innocent. Although Matt does not know who committed the robbery, he is reluctant to defend himself if only to protect Tom from information concerning head cashier Cyril Cluett and Tom's neglected wife, Phyllis. The robbery, however, has wider effects in that it starts a chain of events that could ruin the bank. Tom has to figure out how to save the bank, while evaluating his priorities in light of information that comes to his attention about his home life.

  • 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.


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