Affairs of Cappy Ricks (May 24, 1938)
Released May 24, 1938: When Cappy returns home from a long sea voyage, this crusty old sea captain discovers that his world ashore has turned upside down.
Directed by Peter B. Kyne
Written by Lester Cole.
The Actors: Walter Brennan (Jud McGraw), Mary Brian (Frances 'Frankie' Ricks ), Lyle Talbot (Bill Peck ), Frank Shields (Waldo P. Bottomly Jr.), Frank Melton (Matt Peasely), Georgia Caine (Mrs. Amanda Peasely), Phyllis Barry (Ellen Ricks Peasely), William B. Davidson (Waldo P. Bottomly, Sr.), Frank Shannon (Captain Braddock), Howard Brooks (Revere the Butler), Sherry Hall (Rankin), Pat-McKee (barfly), Anthony Pawley (sailor), Don Rowan (Riley), Will Stanton (steward).
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Are you ready for a really fun movie with a few good belly-laughs thrown in for good measure? Then this is your lucky day, because "Affairs of Cappy Ricks" will have you smiling from the opening scene to the closing credits. Now, I get light-headed in deep bath water, but this sea-going adventure even had me chuckling. Walter Brennan is a wealthy but cantankerous old sea captain that owns a large shipping line, and has two grown daughters, but no wife. He returns from a long voyage to find that one of his daughers has broken off her relationship with her boyfriend Bill, and is now engaged to fellow that is the son of a businessman that Cappy cannot stand. And his other daughter is married to Matt Peasley, and his mother has taken over his household and fired Cappy's favorite cook and other household help. And to make matters worse, mother-in-law Peasley has purchased 51% of Cappy's company, and she plans to merge with the other businessman that Cappy cannot stand.
Bottomly, the businessman that Cappy cannot stand, runs a business that creates new modern devices to take the 1938 home into the future, like photo-electric cells to automatically open and close the household doors. And worst of all, they outfitted Cappy's favorite yacht with enough electric push-button devices that enable the ship to run without any crew. Cappy is not in favor of all of these 'newfangled' inventions, and likes the 'old ways.'
While talking to Bill (veteran actor Lyle Talbot), the fellow that his daughter dumped in favor of the gadget-boy Bottomly Jr. about this dilemma, he makes a bet with Bill for $5,000 that within three months he can turn the tables on everyone and take back control of his company and his family. Bill accepts the challenge, and even agrees to help. Cappy tells the family that he is going back out to sea next week, and they can do whatever they please with the business, but first he would like the his daughters, Peasley his son-in-law, and Peasley's mother, on a weekend cruise around the ocean outside of the San Francisco Bay. So Cappy, Bill, his two daughters, his son-on-law and Mother Peasley climb aboard one of Cappy's yachts and take off for the weekend.
But Cappy heads for the open sea, and before anyone realizes, they are far from home, and Cappy has planned an 8 week cruise, giving him time to talk everyone around to his way of thinking. While out to sea, the yacht mysteriously catches fire near an uninhabited island, and they are all stranded there for maybe the rest of their lives. But the 'fire' was only some oily rags that Cappy arranged to set smoking. He plans to abandon the yacht and go to a nearby uninhabited island for a few weeks to talk some sense into his family. They he will row back to the yacht, discover that it is not a burned wreck, and take them all back to civilization. After a few weeks on the island, daughter Frankie desides that she wants to marry Bill instead of Bottomly, and Cappy rows them in the rowboat off shore so that Captain Ricks can marry them. Unfortunately, while out there and about to be married, Cappy unintentionally bumps the knob of a hidden radio, and when daughter Frankie hears it, the marriage ceremony is stopped, and she realizes that this whole trip was a set-up by Cappy. While arguing about Cappy's duplicity, they discover that while on the island they have all grown into more self-sufficient, happier people. Then they hear on the radio that the yacht has actually broken away from its anchor, and its wreckage was discovered, and everyone thinks that there are no survivors, so no one will even be coming to search the area.
But just as they are getting used to the idea that they will be stranded for the rest of their lives on this island, a large yacht approaches the island, and it turns out that Bottomly has traced their journey in his 'push-button' yacht, and is ready to rescue them. On board the push-button yacht, run by Bottomly and two electronics engineers, they head back to San Francisco, with Cappy scrubbing the decks, and Bill peeling potatoes and cooking. All seems lost for Cappy . . . the push-button age has conquered him, and Frankie is preparing to marry young Bottomly, even though she still has feelings for Bill. Can old codger Cappy out-wit the new electronic age Bottomly with old-fashioned cunning, or is the new age going to swallow up the old timer? Heh, yeah, we can all see it coming, but trust me, you will really enjoy the trip.