The Law of Contact

Mother and Son (August 1, 1931)

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Mother and Son
 

Released on August 1, 1931: (running time 67 minutes) A high society college man doesn't know that his mother owns a popular Reno casino.

Produced by Trem Carr

Directed by John P. McCarthy

The Actors: Clara Kimball Young (Lillian 'Faro Lil' Payton), Bruce Kimball Warren (Jeff Payton), John Elliott (Mr. J.W. Winfield), Mildred Golden (Maureen Winfield), Gordon De Main (Joe Connors), Ernest Hilliard (Jameson), Si 'Steamboat Simon' Jenks (Faro player with angry wife), Thomas A. Curran (a broker), Cheyenne Mussellman (a barber)

 

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The High Stakes Reno Gamble, For Money, For Love, For Life

In the 1860’s Nevada was home to gold prospectors searching the Sierra Nevada mountains for riches. After the day was done, there was nothing to do but drink some beer, watch the stars, and play cards with each other. One deck of cards provided all the entertainment that the prospectors needed, and as the territory grew, gambling was a natural part of life in Nevada.
In 1869 the state officially made some forms of gambling legal, and Virginia City, Nevada quickly became the center for gambling houses and soon became the most populous town in the state. All was well until 1909 when Nevada decided to make gambling a criminal act, beginning on October 1, 1910.

In this story, Clara Kimball Young is ‘Faro Lil,’ owner of the popular Helldorado gambling saloon in Virginia City. When the clock struck midnight and October 1 arrived, she packed up her belongings and her new baby boy and left Nevada and gambling behind.

Fast forward to 1931, and we are in the first years of the stock market crash and the Great Depression. Lil is still wealthy, having put her money in the stock market, and her son is in college and part of the wealthy sophisticated crowd. Suddenly she discovers that all of her money in the stock market is gone, and she is near penniless.

Lil knows only one way to earn a living, and that is by running a casino. Fortunately for her, Nevada has just legalized gambling again, because during the Depression Era the state desperately needed the income from the taxes that it would provide. On March 19, 1931, gambling became legal again in Nevada, and Lil becomes a partner in the new Helldorado Casino in Reno, Nevada, without telling her son, because he is mingling with the society people who look at gamblers like they were dirt. Lil’s secret is safe, and she can still fund her son’s high-society lifestyle, until her son and his high-society girlfriend and her father decide to visit Lil in Reno.

Sometimes in life we set standards for ourselves that we can easily live up to when the sun is shining. We can declare to all that the way we live is the way everyone should live, and anyone who cannot live the way we live is not a worthy person. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, life sometimes has a way of humbling the great, and lifting the humble. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

An unknown actor with John Elliott
An unknown actor with John Elliott
Bruce Kimball Warren
Bruce Kimball Warren
Bruce Kimball Warren and Gordon De Main
Bruce Kimball Warren and Gordon De Main
Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young, Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Clara Kimball Young, Bruce Kimball Warren and Mildred Golden
Clara Kimball Young and Bruce Kimball Warren
Clara Kimball Young and Bruce Kimball Warren
Clara Kimball Young and Gordon De Main
Clara Kimball Young and Gordon De Main
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young and Gordon De Main
Clara Kimball Young and Gordon De Main
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young
Gordon De Main
Gordon De Main
Gordon De Main and Bruce Kimball Warren
Gordon De Main and Bruce Kimball Warren
Bruce Kimball Warren, Clara Kimball Young, Cheyenne Mussellman
Bruce Kimball Warren, Clara Kimball Young, Cheyenne Mussellman
Gordon De Main
Gordon De Main
John Elliott
John Elliott
John Elliott, Clara Kimball Young and Gordon De Main
John Elliott, Clara Kimball Young and Gordon De Main
John Elliott and Mildred Golden
John Elliott and Mildred Golden
John Elliott
John Elliott
Mildred Golden and Clara Kimball Young
Mildred Golden and Clara Kimball Young
Si Jenks at the Faro table
Si Jenks at the Faro table
the actor playing Scotty
Cheyenne Mussellman