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Sweepings (1933)

Passed | | Drama | 14 April 1933 (USA)
Daniel Pardway, starting with almost nothing after the great Chicago fire, builds the biggest department store in town. He wants to pass on the business to his three sons and daughter, but ... See full summary »


John Cromwell


Lester Cohen (screen play), Lester Cohen (novel)


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Complete credited cast:
Lionel Barrymore ... Daniel Pardway
Eric Linden ... Freddie Pardway
William Gargan ... Gene Pardway
Gloria Stuart ... Phoebe
Alan Dinehart ... Thane Pardway (as Allan Dinehart)
Gregory Ratoff ... Abe Ullman
Helen Mack ... Mamie Donahue
Lucien Littlefield ... Grimson
George Meeker ... Bert Pardway
Ninetta Sunderland ... Abigail Pardway
Esther Muir ... Violet


Daniel Pardway, starting with almost nothing after the great Chicago fire, builds the biggest department store in town. He wants to pass on the business to his three sons and daughter, but has to deal with their lack of interest or aptitude. Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The master character creator of them all...Lionel BARRYMORE in the tidal drama of the rise and fall of a famous American family... "SWEEPINGS" (Print ad- Syracuse Journal, ((Syracuse NY)) 20 July 1933) See more »










Release Date:

14 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Duas Gerações See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


William Gargan, who plays the oldest brother Gene here, would play Uncle Thane Pardway in the 1939 remake titled "Three Sons." See more »


Daniel Pardway: I rattle around in that old house like a pea in a shoe box.
See more »


Version of Three Sons (1939) See more »


Good King Wenceslas
Traditional Christmas carol
Modern lyrics by John M. Neale (as J.M. Neale) (1853) and Thomas Helmore
Sung and played as background music at Christmas
See more »

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User Reviews

Tight and True...
29 April 2006 | by xerses13See all my reviews

In the early 1930's the Great Depression coming after the introduction of sound effected all studios severely even mighty MGM. The cost of conversion to sound had been largely absorbed and the early technical difficulties overcome. Films once more started to be made with the competence that was shown in the late silent period. This increased sophistication would culminate in the Class of 1939. Still in this early sound period economic difficulties had to be overcome and one (1) way to do this was keep running time short. All studios participated in this move. Most features ran between sixty (60) and ninety (90) minutes.

SWEEPINGS (1933) is a typical example from RKO. Clocking in at brisk eighty (80) minutes it takes a sixty (60) year family story and cuts it to the essentials. This was well accomplished by Director John Cromwell with a team of acting professionals. The Family, Lionel Barrymore (on loan from MGM), William Gargan, Gloria Stuart, George Meeker, Eric Linden. Gregory Ratoff is Barrymores right hand man and in a brief but effective role Helen Mack. The story in a nutshell; Father builds business for unappreciative Children who just see him as a cash cow. Loses faith in them and at the end regains same through act of youngest son. Entertaining, you bet and the story is in no way obsolete and could be easily updated to 21st Century audiences.

RKO remade this picture as THREE SONS (1939) with one (1) cast hold over William Gargan though this time playing Uncle Thane Pardway. The film ran shorter seventy-two (72) minutes and one (1) major plot change. Rather then die of a heart attack delivering Christmas presents Uncle Thane stops a bullet for his nephew. Remake rating Six (6)******.

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