Young idealist Richard Miller is selected as valedictorian for his New England high school commencement class of 1906 and intends to inject modern anti-capitalistic ideas into his speech. His father, Nat Miller, accidentally learns of it and interrupts Richard's speech before he can make a fool of himself. The small town later celebrates the Fourth of July with customary fireworks, picnics and the like, with Richard spending time with his girl, Muriel McComber, who promises she will allow him to kiss her one day. When Richard sends poems of love to Muriel, quoting the likes of Omar Khayyám and Swinburne, her father prevents her from ever seeing him again and forces her to write a letter denouncing him. Heartbroken, Richard drowns his sorrow in a local bar, drinking and smoking with a vamp called Belle, and comes home drunk. Alcoholic uncle Sid, who is used to the effects of liquor, nurses Richard back to sobriety, but Richard still must face the uncertain punishment of his father as ...Written by
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The box office success of this film led MGM to use many of the cast in A Family Affair (1937), the first in the "Andy Hardy" series (1937-1946). See more »
Belle's mole on her cheek/upper lip disappears halfway through her scene, then reappears later. See more »
Richard 'Dick' Miller:
How are you going to punish me, Pa?
Oh, well, I... thought of telling you you couldn't go to Yale.
Richard 'Dick' Miller:
But, gee, that's great! Well, then I can get a job and marry Muriel. That's no punishment, Pa!
Well, then you'll go to Yale and stay there until you graduate.
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The Glow Worm
Music by Paul Lincke
Played at the high school dance See more »
Well made...but I thought I'd like this one more.
MGM apparently had very high hopes for "Ah Wilderness!" when it came to the Oscars and according to IMDB the studio put on a concerted campaign to get it nominated. But, apparently, the Academy voters were just not that impressed by the film and it didn't receive a single nomination. After seeing it, I think I can understand why.
While the basic story is engaging, as you see a family in early 20th century America during a summer, there is a problem with the main focus of the show. It focuses on the second child, Richard. Richard is about 17-18 and is very opinionated and full of himself...much like MANY 17-18 year-olds (trust me...I taught high school!). But Richard goes above and beyond...to the point of being irritating. Yes, he was full of himself...but also came off as an annoying jerk...at least to me. I loved the other characters...but considering most of the focus was on Richard, I just finished the film feeling a bit let down. I frankly expected much more...especially from MGM.
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