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Poppy, daughter of carnival medicine salesman Professor McGargle, falls in love with the Mayor's son. Countess Maggie Tubbs DePuizzi is claimant to the Putnam estates, but McGargle and lawyer Wiffen plot to make Poppy claim the fortune. Wiffen and the Countess double-cross the Professor, but kindly Sarah Tucker notices a resemble between Poppy and the deceased Mrs. Putnam. It turns out that McGargle adopted the girl, she is the rightful heir, the purported Countess is only a showgirl, and every one has a happy ending.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During his career W.C. Fields was on the legitimate stage long before he was ever in Hollywood and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies for many seasons. In his stage career Fields only did two book shows, the second and better known of them is Poppy. And he did both silent and sound versions of that role.
This version of Poppy has Fields with daughter Rochelle Hudson as part of a traveling carnival that stops in one of the small towns where she falls for the son of the mayor Granville Bates. The son is played by Richard Cromwell. She falls hard too, but Fields see an opportunity for a really big con by passing her off as the daughter of one of the town's leading citizens who left and married a carnival man years ago and left a daughter unaccounted for.
There's a rival claimant in Catherine Doucet who was a cousin of the heiress and she's being stage managed by Lynne Overman as shrewdly as Fields is doing for his daughter. I can't say more, but some unexpected facts come to everyone's attention in the end.
The original story of Poppy was written by Dorothy Donnelly who collaborated with many folks, most prominently Sigmund Romberg as a lyric writer. The original show on Broadway had a full blown score with a bunch of composers all writing songs with lyrics by Donnelly and she wrote the book as well. None of which were used in this film.
Fields is a bit more serious in this part than he normally is, still there are enough Fields type situations to satisfy his fans. What was interesting is that he was being equally matched by Doucet and Overman in chicanery.
Poppy is a much dated old fashioned story, but with W.C. Fields even a somewhat muted Fields it still rates a look.
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