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A Successful Calamity (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 17 September 1932 (USA)
Henry Wilton is an elderly millionaire saddled with his selfish young second wife Emmy 'Sweetie' Wilton and a pair of spoiled grown children (Peggy and Eddie). To test his family's mettle, ... See full summary »

Director:

John G. Adolfi

Writers:

Clare Kummer (play), Maude T. Howell (adaptation) (as Maude Howell) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Arliss ... Henry Wilton
Mary Astor ... Emmy 'Sweetie' Wilton
Evalyn Knapp ... Peggy Wilton
Grant Mitchell ... Connors, Wilton's Butler
Hardie Albright ... George Struthers, Peggy's Beau
William Janney ... Eddie Wilton
David Torrence ... Partington
Randolph Scott ... Larry Rivers, the Polo Coach
Hale Hamilton ... John Belde -\sWilton's Business Associate
Fortunio Bonanova ... Pietro Rafaelo, the Pianist
Oscar Apfel ... President of the United States
Murray Kinnell ... Alfred Curtis, The Broker
Harold Minjir Harold Minjir ... Watson, Eddie's Valet (as Harold Minjur)
Barbara Leonard ... Pauline, The French Maid
Eula Guy Eula Guy ... Jane, the Cook's Helper
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Storyline

Henry Wilton is an elderly millionaire saddled with his selfish young second wife Emmy 'Sweetie' Wilton and a pair of spoiled grown children (Peggy and Eddie). To test his family's mettle, Henry pretends to have gone broke. Just as he suspected they would, his children rally to their father's side and change their ways: Peggy forsakes the fortune hunter George Struthers for the nice young man she's really in love with, the polo coach Larry Rivers; while Eddie applies for a demanding job and performs admirably. Only Sweetie seems to desert Henry. Written by Robert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Calamidad con suerte See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play by Clare Kummer originally opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on 5 February 1917, and ran for 144 performances before closing for the summer (there was no air conditioning in those days). It then reopened on 10 October 1917 at the Plymouth Theatre. The opening night cast included Katharine Alexander, 'William Gillette', Estelle Winwood and Roland Young. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Their spendthrift ways
20 May 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In this film George Arliss instead of doing one of his own stage successes took a play that had starred William Gillette on Broadway during the 1917 season for 144 performances. Gillette had trouble getting folks to see him as anything else other than Sherlock Holmes, but Arliss suffered no such handicap and does make the role his own in the film adaption of A Successful Calamity.

Once again Arliss plays a tycoon who even has himself a second and trophy wife though that term was decades away from its coining and in the film the wife is played by Mary Astor. Astor and his kids from the first marriage William Janney and Evelyn Knapp are driving him to distraction with their spendthrift ways.

So Arliss decides to let out the rumor that they're broke. It couldn't have hit them harder than Eugene Palette's announcement to the Bulloch family in My Man Godfrey. Brings them all up short a bit.

Arliss who was one of the great actors of the English speaking world of the stage apparently instinctively knew the value of underplaying in his sound feature films. His little tricks during closeups rivet your attention to him. He's supported well by his cast which also includes Randolph Scott in a small role as Evelyn Knapp's true love. William Janney seemed to have taken a patent out on playing callow youths who get into jackpots during the early talkie period as he does yet play another here.

Though it's old fashioned and the acting style all around is I think you can still enjoy A Successful Calamity.


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