The Law of Contact

Kept Husbands (February 22, 1931)

Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea
 

Released February 22, 1931: The daughter of a wealthy businessman decides to convince a worker in her father's steel mill to propose to her by Christmas.

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, steel worker), 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, Charlie's dinner guest), Gregory Gaye (Monsieur Prinz, Paris dress shop owner)

 

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All I Want for Christmas is Dickie

Dorothy Mackaill’s parents had just separated and she was ordered to live with her father, who owned a dancing academy in Hull, England. She was teaching dance at ten years old, and when she was eleven years old she convinced her father to pay for her to room and board in London and take acting lessonsl. By the age of sixteen she was the leading chorus girl in two numbers of “Joybells” at the London Hippodrome.

A Broadway choreographer spotted her and hired her for the Ziegfeld Follies in New York City. It wasn’t long before Hollywood called, and she became quite famous for her silent motion picture roles in pre-code movies that explored the adult side of human nature.

After the Hays Office began censoring films in 1934, she lost interest in motion pictures, performing in one more movie in England in 1937 before retiring to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on the beach at Waikiki. She swam in the ocean daily and became the unofficial celebrity of the hotel until her death in 1990.

She appeared in two television episodes in the 1970’s, telling a friend, “I wouldn’t have done it for anyone except Jack.” Her friend Jack, was Jack Lord, the star of Hawaii Five-0, and she said, “I adore him, so he was able to persuade me.”

This pre-code romantic romp might not be so much fun for the youngest movie fans wanting to see angels earning their wings, but for the rest of us, it is an enchanting story about the adult side of love, American Style. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Bryant Washington
Bryant Washington
Bryant Washington, Dorothy Mackaill
Bryant Washington, Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill, Bryant Washington
Dorothy Mackaill, Bryant Washington
Dorothy Mackaill, Florence Roberts
Dorothy Mackaill, Florence Roberts
Dorothy Mackaill, Joel McCrea
Dorothy Mackaill, Joel McCrea
Robert McWade, Dorothy Mackaill
Robert McWade, Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill, Joel McCrea
Dorothy Mackaill, Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Eddy Chandler, Ned Sparks
Eddy Chandler, Ned Sparks
Florence Roberts, Rombert McWade
Florence Roberts, Rombert McWade
Freeman Wood
Freeman Wood
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
Lita Chevret
Lita Chevret
Mary Carr
Mary Carr
Mary Carr, Dorothy Mackaill
Mary Carr, Dorothy Mackaill
Mary Carr, Ned Sparks
Mary Carr, Ned Sparks
Mary Carr
Mary Carr
Mary Carr
Mary Carr
Ned Sparks
Ned Sparks
Ned Sparks
Ned Sparks
Robert McWade
Robert McWade
Florence Roberts, Rombert McWade
Florence Roberts, Rombert McWade
Freeman Wood
Freeman Wood