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"The Iron Master" - Romantic Steel Mill Drama
released on February 4, 1933
The Actors: Reginald Denny (Steve Mason), Lila Lee (Janette Stillman), J. Farrell MacDonald (J.C. Stillman), Esther Howard (Mrs. Stillman), William Janney (David Stillman), Virginia Sale (Miss Fanny Smith), Richard Tucker (Paul Rankin), Astrid Allwyn (Flo Lancert, David's girlfriend), Tom London (Jud Turner), Nola Dolberg (Diana), Otto Hoffman (Grange), Freddie Burke Frederick (little Billy Stillman), Ronnie Cosby (little Billy Stillman as a three year old), Kenneth Howell (party guest)
Love and the Hoover Damn Bid
In 1933 the Great Depression was gripping the world, but there were still pockets of wealth, and one of the biggest sources of wealth was iron and steel. Steel girders were replacing wooden beams in construction, and huge skyscrapers, bridges and dams were being built that were never possible before. J.P. Morgan had bought the Andrew Carnegie steel mills in Pittsburgh and formed U.S. Steel, the largest company in the world at that time. Small independent steel mills were still around though, and still creating great wealth for their owners. The Stillman steel mill was run by J.C. Stillman, a work-a-holic man who had little time for his family. His wife, daughter and son spent their time happily disposing of the family money as quickly as he earned it. Daughter Janet, or Janette, played by Lila Lee, is a stuck-up rich girl who thinks that the world revolves around her. As the adventure opens she is driving to the mill to see her papa, and isn’t paying attention when her car slams into a steel truck leaving the mill. When a handsome young fellow informs her that she is trying to enter through the exit, and asks her to move her car, she insists instead that he back up his steel truck so that she can enter the exit . . . Nobody can get in her way. . . . Well, this leads to that and when she gets to her father’s office and tells him about the way the young man treated her, papa Stillman calls the young man into his office and fires him in front of his spoiled daughter. We can already see that these two kids will wind up together, but this is hardly a good start. The romance goes even more sour when the young fellow shows old man Stillman some new steel manufacturing ideas that will earn the company a pile of money. Soon the young fellow is Stillman’s partner, and when the old fellow dies, he gives full control of the steel mill, and full control of the family money to Steve, played by Reginald Denny. He will be the master of all the weath taken from the creation of iron and steel. Now the fireworks will begin, as the spoiled family will try everything that they can to ruin Steve . . . And they are so wrapped up in their hatred of Steve that they do not realize that if they ruin Steve and the steel mill, they will be destroying the flow of money that they cannot live without. The bid for supplying steel for a new dam called the Hoover Dam is being prepared, and the family will make sure that a competing steel mill gets a look at the Stillman bid so that the rival mill will get the job. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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2014 was an exciting year for me, and I want to say thank you to every visitor that enjoys these old movies as much as I do. Four years ago I found myself with the knowledge to create nice web pages, along with a stack of old public domain movies that I owned and enjoyed. I decided to share them with the world . . . I thought that the 150 or so movies that I had collected were all the public domain movies in existence, but soon discovered more, and with good research and the help of the internet I am still discovering lost classics to share. Thanks to the amazing people at the New Dream Network I am able to share more than 2,000 almost forgotten classics, with many more sitting on my shelf waiting their turn to be added to this web site.
The question that I am asked most often is whether these movies are really public domain, or am I sharing movies that are still copyrighted and owned by movie studios and independent producers. Some folk believe that I am clever enough to share movies still owned by studios and independent producers without them knowing, but that would not be 'clever' . . . . merely 'stupid.' The first month that I started this web site I uploaded the stack of movies that I had on hand that I believed were public domain. Within days, when only a handful of visitors found my site, a movie studio contacted me and let me know that a couple of their copyrighted movies were among my uploads. I quickly apologized and removed them, and I started learning how to research copyright office records instead of taking the word of movie bloggers. To guarantee that I don't make a mistake, and encourage any studio or producer to correct any mistake that I might make, I do not hide the files with cryptic file names like movie pirates do, and I do not host the movies in a small offshore nation to prevent movie studios from finding either me or the movies. Every movie is named and dated and very easy for motion picture studios to search for and find . . . . . And believe me, they are constantly watching. You may have only discovered this web site recently, but all of the movie studios watch my listings very closely, and have since the very early days. Our legal system makes it very easy for movie studio lawyers to quickly shut down an offending web site, and I am a very cautious person who wants to be around for a while, and have no interest in abusing the rights of others. I am also very easy to find . . . . I am a very public person with my face on every page of the web site, and a contact link on every page of the web site, and if you look at the 'meet Jimbo' page you can even easily discover my cell phone number by following the link to my personal pages. The movies that have been here for five years now are still here because they have no current legal owner.
In 2014 the number of friends visiting the site and enjoying the movies tripled, and I am very grateful. One day in 2014 I got an e-mail note from Sir Robert Rietty, a British actor and voice-over specialist who wanted to thank me for sharing movies featuring himself and his famous acting teacher father Victor Rietti. We became e-mail friends, and I was able to find even more of his movies that were in public domain and share them with him and you, and Sir Robert was gracious enough to share behind-the-scenes stories about some of his experiences. I have also been honored to meet and become friends with Canadian director Rex Bromfield, a longtime friend of Richard Burton. Rex shared two experiences with Burton that have never been made public before, and I shared them with you in my reviews of the 1973 Welsh productions starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Divorce His and the sequel Divorce Hers. Thanks to several new British collector friends, I am able to share many old British films that I, and indeed most folk outside Britain have never seen or heard of. It appears that 2015 will be the year of British Classics thanks to them. I cannot describe with words how much joy I am enjoying while building this web site and sharing the movies that I love with the rest of the world. Thank you all for sharing in my journey and exploring the stories produced during the first years of motion picture history. The past four years have been an incredible journey, but I suspect that the best is yet ahead of us, so stick around and visit often . . . And don't be shy about sending me a note, I cherish every one and respond to all of them.
If you find an error or factual mistake, please use the contact page to let me know so that I can correct it for everyone else. This web site celebrates the efforts of every actor - not just the stars - because like a grand stew, each actor adds a unique flavor to the film, and without any of them the movie would not be the same. If you are one of these actors, or a friend or family member of an actor, please send me any anecdotes and stories that you know about any of them, and I will gladly add them to the site to enrich our knowledge about that actor or the movie they played in.
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