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A Successful Calamity (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 17 September 1932 (USA)
A wealthy industrialist tests the loyalty of his spoiled children and selfish wife by pretending to be broke.

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:

A Successful Calamity 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 »

Quotes

Connors, Wilton's Butler: A man that's used to his pajamas wants them, sir, when he's sleeping.
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User Reviews

 
Warm-hearted comedy with Arliss in top form
24 July 2016 | by bbmtwistSee all my reviews

A nice comedic performance from Arliss as a business man, whose family has no time for him. He feigns bankruptcy to get them to stay home with him, and is surprised at how they all rally to him. The ruse brings him unexpected financial benefits as well. Warm-hearted film though playing on only one note story-wise.

Mary Astor is fine in an early sound role and the supporting cast does well all around. It's a delight watching Arliss' facial expressions, which convey more subtlety than he could have produced on stage and show him a continued master of comedic timing.

Although only a few sets are used, they are well done and up to the usual Warner Bros. standards of the early thirties.


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