Kept Husbands (February 22, 1931)

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Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea
 

Released February 22, 1931: Joel McCrea is Dick Brunton, a working Steel foreman that becomes the kept husband of the boss' heiress daughter.

Produced by William LeBaron

Directed by Lloyd Bacon

The Actors: Dorothy Mackaill (Dorothea 'Dot' Parker-Brunton), Joel McCrea (Richard 'Dick' Brunton), Ned Sparks (Hughie Hanready), Mary Carr (Mrs. Julia Brunton), Clara Kimball Young (Mrs. Lucille Post), Robert McWade (Arthur Parker), Bryant Washburn (Charlie Bates), Florence Roberts (Mrs. Henrietta Parker), Freeman Wood (Llewllyn Post), Eddy Chandler (steelworker), Lita Chevret (Gwen), Gregory Gaye (Monsieur Prinz, Paris dress shop owner)

 
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The Wealthy Heiress Pink Tease and Her Boy-Toy

It is 1931, the stock market crashed two years ago, and the U.S. has dropped into the worst financial depression in the history of the world. Millionaires become paupers overnight. Millions of working class folk lose their jobs and are reduced to being vagrants and hobos in search of their next meal. But a fortunate few still have their wealth, and this movie is about the fortunate wealthy, and the working poor, and the mixture of the two. It is a fascinating peek into the lifestyles and mind sets of both. In this period one of the large successful businesses was the steel industry. Throughout the Great Depression Steel was still king, and the leaders of the great steel mills became the richest men in the world.

As our movie opens, Steel Magnate Arthur Parker is discussing the events of the day with his snooty wife and young daughter. He describes how one of his bosses heroically rushed into a deadly situation and saved the lives of some workers at the mill. And on top of that, when Parker offered him a thousand dollars as a reward, the young fellow turned it down. So Parker has invited the young man to dinner with them. Parker's wife is positively horrified at having an uneducated and crude steel worker for dinner at the mansion. She is afraid that he will not have the proper manners to associate with them. And not only that, but after dinner the Parkers are going to the opera, and this fellow surely could not go with them. Mr. Parker assures his uppity wife that the lad is not going to the opera with them, he is only coming to dinner.

When dinner and Dick Brunton arrive, Dot, Parker's young daughter, is entranced with him and can't think of anything else but him. After dinner, she promises her dad that within four weeks she will have him as a husband, and her mind is made up.

Dad Parker bets that she will not have him as a husband in four weeks, but who can measure the power of a woman with a determined passion? Four weeks later, on December 20, just five days before Christmas, she proposes to him, and he accepts. From here on our movie is a roller coaster of culture clashes between the very wealthy and the very poor.

Will wealthy Dot Parker turn poor Dick into her personal boy-toy, or will hard-working Dick turn playful Dot into a devoted wife?  Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Bryant Washburn and Robert McWade
Bryant Washburn and Robert McWade
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill and Florence Roberts
Dorothy Mackaill and Florence Roberts
Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea
Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Florence Roberts and Robert McWade
Florence Roberts and Robert McWade
Florence Roberts
Florence Roberts
Freeman Wood
Freeman Wood
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Lita Chevret
Lita Chevret
Mary Carr
Mary Carr
Ned Sparks
Ned Sparks
Robert McWade and Dorothy Mackaill
Robert McWade and Dorothy Mackaill