The Stoker (June 15, 1932)
Released June 15, 1932: A millionaire businessman becomes a slave worker on a ship headed for Nicaragua.
Produced by M.H. Hoffman and M.H. Hoffman Jr.
Directed by Chester M. Franklin
Written by Peter B. Kyne with screen play by F. Hugh Herbert
The Actors: Monte Blue (Dick Martin), Dorothy Burgess (Margarita Valdez), Noah Beery (Santini), Natalie Moorhead (Vera Martin), Richard Tucker (Alan Ballard), Clarence Geldart (Senor Valdez), Charles Stevens (Ernesto), Harry J. Vejar (jailer), Chris-Pin Martin (Chief of Police), Julia Bejarano (Valdez servant), Allan Cavan (Crittenden, board of directors), Bud Osborne (seaman), Blackie Whiteford (seaman Blackie)
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Dick Martin is a millionaire businessman in New York City who is in a fight for survival with his board of directors. He figures to buy out their part of the business by using the office building that his wife owns. But his wife is dallying with his lawyer, and is ready to toss Dick to the curb. So Dick loses his wife and loses his business, and becomes a drifter, sour on life and more sour on women. By chance he gets a job as a stoker on a cruise ship - one of the men buried in the belly of the ship shovelling coal into the furnaces that power the vessel. He is the only one that is happy with his job. He can forget about women and corrupt businessmen and get all of his frustrations out by shovelling coal. While in port in Nicaragua he gets into a bar fight and lands in jail. After a while in jail he is given the opportunity to get out of jail with one condition - he must go to work on a coffee plantation.
When Dick arrives at the plantation he finds the owner and his lovely daughter Margarita, and he discovers that they want him because he is a tough American, and he can protect them from the bandits led by the evil Santini, played by Noah Beery with a Spanish accent. It doesn't take us long to see that Margarita has eyes for Dick, but Dick still doesn't like women, even Margarita. But alas, the wiles of a beautiful woman are always stronger than the will of a tough man, so we know how this one will end on the romantic end. But this Santini, he is a smart hombre, and he dresses up in a fine suit and convinces Margarita's father that he is a plantation owner from the interior, and he stays at the plantation with Margarita and Dick. There is trouble afoot for Dick and Margarita in the jungles of Nicaragua, and this romantic jungle adventure will keep you guessing what is next the whole way through. And Dick may find his new love to be just as deceptive as his ex wife, opening up a whole 'nother can of peas. Were there any good women left in 1932? Has Dick found his 'good woman' or just another scheming female? Pop a nice big bowl of buttered popcorn and enjoy an adventure that starts in the canyons of New York City and ends in the jungles of Nicaragua.