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"Brilliant Marriage" - Heiress Romantic Adventure
released on March 25, 1936
The Actors: Joan Marsh (Madge Allison), Ray Walker (Garry Dane), Inez Courtney (Sally Patrick), Hugh Marlowe (Dick Taylor), Doris Lloyd (Mrs. Madeleine Allison), Ann Codee (Yvette Duval), Olive Tell (Mrs. Jane Taylor), Holmes Herbert (Mr. Rodney Allison), Robert Adair (Thorne the butler), Barbara Bradford (Brenda), Dick Elliott (newspaper editor), Herbert Ashley (Ship's Captain), Kathryn Sheldon (Ellen the maid), Victor Wong (Wong), George Cleveland (bartender), Lynton Brent (Blaine), Lester Dorr (art critic), Jack Kirk (sailor), Clyde McClary (sailor)
The Skeleton in the Closet
In 1936 the '400' wealthiest families in America were the stuff of dreams for the rest of the world . . . . which was deep into the poverty of the Great Depression. During the deep recession of the 1980's in America one of the most popular shows on television was 'Dallas' and the 'Who Shot J.R.' episode. It seems that while the majority of folk are suffering through tough times they take great pleasure in watching the problems of the ultra-wealthy . . . Some to dream of rising from poverty to wealth, and some just to glory in the foibles of the wealthy. As this 1936 romantic adventure heiress Madge Allison, played by Joan Marsh, is having her coming out party that is attended by the wealthiest families on Park Avenue. Ray Walker plays the part of an aggressive newspaper reporter trying to crash the party, but the Allison butler is able to give him the bum's rush so that he cannot mingle with the wealthy and collect enough dirt for a good newspaper article. After the party is over and all of the wealthy guests have gone home, there is a knock at the front door and a woman with a thick French accent tells the butler to announce her as the skeleton that is coming out of the closet. Madge and her mother and father are relaxing in the living room after the party as the French woman enters the room and introduces herself. Madge's father and mother become terribly frightened and anxious, and her father suggests that he and the lady continue the conversation in privacy. The French gal will have nothing of it, and quickly blurts out the information that will change the future of the beautiful young heiress forever. Earlier during the party Madge tells longtime boyfriend Dick that although she likes him a lot, and knows that everyone expects them to one day marry . . . She is looking for romance that will knock her out of her socks . . . something that all of Dick's money cannot do. This leads to that and Madge starts seeing the reporter who once tried to crash her party, and she thinks that she is falling in love with the reporter who is just wild enough to excite her . . . Unfortunately there is a girl reporter on the newspaper who wants the reporter, and when he dumps her for the wealthy heiress she gets her revenge by digging up the skeleton that haunts the heiress and everyone's world is thrust into chaos. Wealthy heiress, skeletons, suitors, jealous girlfriends . . . where will it end . . . maybe with a brilliant marriage or two? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.
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Some of my Favorites:
Probably my all time favorite movie, My Man Godfrey in 1936 not only gives us an comedic peek at the wealthiest and poorest during the Great Depression, but also was the vehicle for Carole Lombard to create the movie icon of the 'dumb blonde screwball comedy' that is a popular theme even today.
Meet John Doe - 1941: The Frank Capra classic set in the Great Depression era that pits the common man against the political masters. You can't be a fan of old movies until you watch Frank Capra's old movies. This one premiered seventy years ago, and it still stirs our emotions and thoughts now. It is as timely as if it were produced today.
Angel and the Bad Man - 1947: One of the great teachers of the Secret Law of Attraction is Dr. Joe Vitale . . . but before he was even born actor John Wayne paid for and produced this Cowboy Western that featured The Law of Attraction.
The Time of Your Life - 1948: James Cagney financed this strangely different feel-good movie, and he plays the part of Joe, a barfly that tries to live his life by making everyone around him better. I watch this one often, and try to become more like Joe every day.
Painted Faces - 1929: Comedy legend Joe E. Brown is a circus clown in a surprisingly serious role as a juror in a Christmas week murder trial who tells the other jurors a story that will change their verdicts in a pre-code drama that could not have been made a few years later.
Charade - 1963: It doesn't get much better than Cary Grant and Audry Hepburn in a tale of death, deception, spies and lost wealth as a woman tries to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in this cold-war spy thriller love story.