The Law of Contact

Letter of Introduction (August, 1938)

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Adolphe Menjou in Letter of Introduction
 

Released August 5, 1938: A young aspiring actress learns that she is the long lost daughter of the most famous actor on Broadway, but he refuses to tell the world who she is.

Produced by John M. Stahl

Directed by John M. Stahl

The Actors: Adolphe Menjou (John Mannering), Andrea Leeds (Katherine 'Kay' Martin), George Murphy (Barry Paige), Edgar Bergen (himself), Rita Johnson (Honey), Ann Sheridan (Lydia Hoyt), Ernest Cossart (Andrews the butler), Frank Jenks (Joe the theater prompter), Eve Arden (Cora Phelps), Jonathan Hale (Lou Woodstock), Constance Moore (autograph seeker), Frances Robinson (hatcheck girl), Eleanor Hansen (stagestruck girl), Raymond Parker (call boy), Mark Daniels (kibitzer), Walter Perry (backstage doorman), George Davis (Park Plaza waiter), Chester Clute (guest at cocktail party), Russell Hopton (process server), John Archer (reporter), Jonathan Hale (Lou Woodstock), Irving Bacon (reporter), Don 'Red' Barry (disbelieving man at Barry's party), Brooks Benedict (Brooks Benedict), Yvonne Boisseau (bit part), May Boley (Mrs. Meggs the landlady), Wade Boteler (policeman), Harry C. Bradley (bit part), Don Brodie (reporter), Douglas Carter (photographer), Virginia Lee Corbin (woman at Barry's party), Inez Courtney (woman at Barry's party), Edith Craig (girl singer), William B. Davidson (Mr. Raleigh), Edward Earle (man in audience), Bill Elliott (backgammon player), Dorothy Granger (woman at Barry's party), Eddie Hall (guest at New Year's Eve party), Sam Hayes (announcer in street crowd), Grace Hayle (autograph seeker at the Park Plaza), Robert Homans (policeman outside theater), Kathleen Howard (Aunt Jonnie in the play), George Humbert (man with drum running from fire), Armand Kaliz (Jules the barber), Crauford Kent (Mr. Sinclair), Sharon Lewis (bridge player), Doris Lloyd (Charlotte in play), Alphonse Martell (Park Plaza Maitre'd), Kitty McHugh (girl singer), Natalie Moorhead (Maud Raleigh), James C. Morton (cop at the fire), Leonard Mudie (critic), Joseph North (party guest), Esther Ralston (Mrs. Sinclair), Frank Reicher (second doctor at Midtown Hospital), Kane Richmond (pedestrian who repeats 'Money in the Bank'), Sandy Sanford (fireman), Rolfe Sedan (fitter), Charles Sherlock (reporter), Phillip Trent (man at Barry's party), Richard Tucker (Mr. Tucker), Theodore von Eltz (first doctor at Midtown Hospital), Russell Wade (young autograph seeker), Ray Walker (reporter), Morgan Wallace (editor), Billy Wayne (fire spectator), Claire Witney (nurse Ryan), Dick Winslow (second elevator boy)

 
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I Promise to Tell the World . . . Maybe . . .

John Mannering (played by Adolphe Menjou) is a famous 52 year old movie star who came from an acting dynasty. He is about to marry a very young beauty as his most recent wife in a long series of young wives. Across town, young Kay Martin is a struggling young actress that has a special 'Letter of Introduction' to Mannering. It seems that as her mother was dying, she gave Kay a letter explaining that she was Mannering's first wife, and Kay is his only daughter. It is New Year's Eve and Kay is returning to her apartment after being let go from her holiday job as a clerk in a large department store. She chats with Edgar Bergen, and out of work ventriloquist that lives in the same building with her. Nearing their apartment building, they discover that it is on fire, and Kay rushes in to get her letter of introduction to Mannering, and a young fellow from across the street that has a crush on Kay goes in with her, and helps get her out of the burning building. It turns out to be love for both of them. The next day Kay goes to visit the famous star Mannering, and Barry (George Murphy), her new love, thinks that the womanizing Mannering would be a bad influence on her, but says nothing. When Kay and Mannering finally meet, and Mannering finds out that Kay is his daughter, he recalls how he split with his first wife, Kay's Mother. He always loved her, but she refused to travel on the road with him as a young actor, and they grew apart. He never knew that he had a daughter, and he is full of love and compassion for Kay. At that point his new young fiancée enters and is immediately jealous of Mannering's loving attention to Kay, and misinterprets it as competition for her upcoming marriage to Mannering. Later that night Mannering arranges to meet Kay at an expensive restaurant so they can get better acquainted, but his fiancée finds out about it and thinks he is cheating on her, and she causes a scene. Mannering chases after her, leaving Kay in the restaurant with a large bill that she cannot pay. Mannering will not tell his fiancée that Kay is his daughter, so she breaks up with him, and the wedding is off.

Late that night Mannering looks Kay up, and meets Edgar Bergman in the process. He later helps Edgar Bergman find work and fame, and we will enjoy an extended view of the great comedian's act - quite a slice of history. Anyway, everyone belives that Mannering and Kay are in love, because Kay will not reveal that Mannering is her father, and he doesn't have the stones to tell. So her boyfriend leaves her and goes on the road with his dancing partner, and they promise to wed. Thus Kay loses the man she loves, but goes on with her relationship with her father. Mannering tries to get her a leading role in a Broadway play, and only succeeds because he offers to play a part in the production as well. The producer has been trying to get Mannering to come back to Broadway for years, but Mannering has always resisted until now.

On the night of the premier, Barry is in town, and hasn't married his dance partner yet, because he still has feelings for Kay, but believes that she only has feelings for Mannering. Outside the theater, as Mannering is arriving, he sees Barry, and advises him to come inside and watch the play, and listen to Mannering's after-play announcement. Mannering promises his daughter that he will tell the world that she is his daughter after the play. But he drinks too much before the performance, and when onstage makes a fool of himself to the point that the play is halted. Backstage Mannering tries to talk to Kay, but she is so mad that she leaves in a huff. Mannering decides to walk home, and hearing the disparaging remarks from all of the people around him, steps in front of a moving cab and is seriously injured. He lays dying in the hospital, with Kay at his side, and . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Adolphe Menjou reads the letter
Adolphe Menjou reads the letter
Andrea Leeds
Andrea Leeds
Adolphe Menjou
Adolphe Menjou
Adolphe Menjou and Andrea Leeds
Adolphe Menjou and Andrea Leeds
Adolphe Menjou and Andrea Leeds
Adolphe Menjou and Andrea Leeds
Adolphe Menjou and Ann Sheridan
Adolphe Menjou and Ann Sheridan
Adolphe Menjou and Ann Sheridan
Adolphe Menjou and Ann Sheridan
Adolphe Menjou and George Murphy
Adolphe Menjou and George Murphy
Adolphe Menjou
Adolphe Menjou
Adolphe Menjou
Adolphe Menjou
Andrea Leeds
Andrea Leeds
Andrea Leeds and Edgar Bergen
Andrea Leeds and Edgar Bergen
Andrea Leeds and George Davis
Andrea Leeds and George Davis
Andrea Leeds and George Murphy
Andrea Leeds and George Murphy
Andrea Leeds and Adolphe Menjou
Andrea Leeds and Adolphe Menjou
Andrea Leeds meets George Murphy
Andrea Leeds meets George Murphy
Andrea Leeds
Andrea Leeds
Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan
Armand Kaliz, Aldolphe Menjou and Ernest Cossart
Armand Kaliz, Aldolphe Menjou and Ernest Cossart
Armand Kaliz
Armand Kaliz
Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Charlie McCarthy, Edgar Bergen and Rita Johnson
Charlie McCarthy, Edgar Bergen and Rita Johnson
Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd and Edgar Bergen
Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd and Edgar Bergen
Charley McCarthy
Charley McCarthy
Ernest Cossart
Ernest Cossart
Ernest Cossart, Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Ernest Cossart, Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Ernest Cossart and George Murphy
Ernest Cossart and George Murphy
Ernest Cossart
Ernest Cossart
Eve Arden, Adolphe Menjou and Andrea Leeds
Eve Arden, Adolphe Menjou and Andrea Leeds
Eve Arden and Rita Johnson
Eve Arden and Rita Johnson
George Davis
George Davis
George Murphy and Adolphe Menjou
George Murphy and Adolphe Menjou
George Murphy and Andrea Leeds
George Murphy and Andrea Leeds
George Murphy and Andrea Leeds
George Murphy and Andrea Leeds
George Murphy and Rita Johnson
George Murphy and Rita Johnson
George Murphy kisses Andrea Leeds
George Murphy kisses Andrea Leeds
George Murphy proposes to Rita Johnson
George Murphy proposes to Rita Johnson
George Murphy twists Adolphe Menjou's nose
George Murphy twists Adolphe Menjou's nose
George Murphy
George Murphy
James C. Morton and Andrea Leeds
James C. Morton and Andrea Leeds
Jonathan Hale and Frank Jenks
Jonathan Hale and Frank Jenks
Jonathan Hale
Jonathan Hale
May Boley
May Boley
May Boley
May Boley
Mortimer Snerd and Edgar Bergen
Mortimer Snerd and Edgar Bergen
Natalie Moorhead
Natalie Moorhead
Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson, Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Rita Johnson, Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen
Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson
William B. Davidson and Natalie Moorhead
William B. Davidson and Natalie Moorhead