Thunder in the City (April 22, 1937)
Released April 22, 1937: Edward G. Robinson is a brash salesman from New York who loses his job and goes to London and puts together a huge sales deal in hopes of making a financial killing.
Directed by Marion Gering
Written by Robert E. Sherwood, Aben Kandel, Akos Tolnay, Jack E. Jewell and Dudley Sturrock.
The Actors: Edward G. Robinson (Dan Armstrong), Luli Deste (Lady Patricia 'Pat' Graham), Nigel Bruce (Duke of Glenavon), Constance Collier (Duchess of Glenavon), Ralph Richardson (Henry V. Manningdale), Arthur Wontner (Sir Peter 'Pete' Challoner), Nancy Burne (Edna, the singer), Annie Esmond (Lady Challoner), Cyril Raymond (James), Elizabeth Inglis (Dolly), James Carew (Mr. Snyderling), Everley Gregg (Millie, Dan's secretary in New York), Donald Calthrop (Dr. Plumet the chemist), Billy Bray (Bill the pianist), Terence de Marney (reporter), Roland Drew (Frank), Elliott Nugent (Casey), Ernest Roberts.
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Edward G. Robinson is Dan Armstrong, a brash salesman that loses his job as the marketing director at a large manufacturer. His outlandish sales methods have been very successful, but the head of the company thinks they should be more conservative, like the British are. Pondering his future, Dan decides to go to London and visit the family of his ancestors. His relatives in England believe that he is wealthy, so they decide to befriend him in hopes that he will purchase their castle, which is heavily in debt. When he arrives, he discovers their plan, thanks to the plain talking Nigel Bruce, who is the Duke of Glenavon. And the Duke has a pretty daughter that catches Dan's eye. As the family tries to con Dan into spending his millions on them, Dan is looking for an opportunity to use his sales skills to make some money in some kind of business venture.
While talking to the Duke's daughter, Dan discovers that the Duke has some property in Rhodesia that contains Magnelite, a newly discovered metal that is as light as aluminum and as strong as steel. A big London banker is trying to purchase options on the mineral from the Duke, and the Duke is also trying to get the banker to marry his daughter, so that they can have the money and position that they desire. Dan quickly decides that his sales skills can earn him the magnalite deal and also the affections of his daughter, Lady Patricia. He takes the Duke out on the town, stroking his ego and finally closing a deal for the Magnelite with money that he does not have. He starts immediately 'selling' the deal, calling the London Times to whip up interest in the venture.
When it is time to close the deal and sign the papers, and hand over the cash to close the deal, Dan doesn't have the money, and instead takes the Duke, his wife and daughter into another room to sell them an idea. Instead of giving them cash for the options, he talks them into forming a company and selling stock to get the money to exploit the mineral. They accept, and intrest in Magnelite goes through the roof, and they all become wealthy with the money provided. But when it comes time to get the job done, both of Dan's goals seem to be out of reach. Lady Patricia tells him that she does not love him, but is only committed to him because of the money. And the London banker that wanted the Mangnelite and Lady Patricia? He went to paris and purchased the patents to refine Magnelite from the inventor, holding the key to the whole business, and he will prevent Dan and the corporation from developing Magnelite, making Dan's entire venture worthless.
Dan seems to be whipped, he is feeling quite depressed, not only that he will not be flying high with the venture, but he is very upset that all of the little people that purchased the stock in hopes of making money with him will lose their stake. the banker tells Dan that the only way that Magnelite will ever be produced is if Dan gives the banker his portion of the business for free, saving the small investors, but sending Dan away defeated and penniless. Is there a way to pull victory out of defeat? Can Dan outwit the banker that has him in a death grip? Will Dan allow the banker to win, and send Dan away penniless? Will the brash American salesman finally lose his brass, and fly away from London in defeat, without his deal or his intended? It sure looks like it.