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False Pretenses (October 22, 1935)

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Irene Ware in False Pretenses

Released on October 22, 1935: A poor girl meets a broke millionaire and they team up in a scheme to get new wealth.

Directed by Charles Lamont

The Actors: Irene Ware (Mary Beekman), Sidney Blackmer (Kenneth Alden), Betty Compson (Clarissa stanhope), Russell Hopton (Pat Brennan), Edward Gargan (Mike O'Reilly), Ernest Wood (Tiffany Cortland), Lucy Beaumont (Miss Milgrim), Marshall Ruth (gardner), Dot Farley (Mrs. Smythe), John Picorri (Soutar), Herbert Clifton (Bleven), William Humphrey (Newman), Wilson Benge (Stephens), Lester Dorr (desk clerk), Florence Dudley (waitress), Jane Keckley (Mrs. Nowlan, landlady), Lafe McKee (doorman), Frank O'Connor (policeman), Rose Plumer (Elsie, chambermaid), Jack Shutta (waiter), Al Thompson (Avery, restaurant manager).


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This romantic comedy involves a sweet gold digger and a broke millionaire who get together to make a fortune from the wealthy crowd. You won't find a better movie to scare away the blues than this tale of boys chasing girls who are chasing the boys. Pop your white kernel popcorn and enjoy a light hearted comedy about money and love, and the games people play to get each other.

As our movie opens we meet Mary, a nice girl having a night out with a fellow that likes her, but boy-oh-boy is he one obnoxious loud-mouth clod that needs to take off his shoes to count to twenty. Mary is a poor girl waiting tables at a local restaurant who has dreams of becoming wealthy somehow. When the clod visits her restaurant and makes a scene, Mary is fired and given her final paycheck. While she is walking home across a bridge, her paycheck flies out of her hand and flutters toward the water below. As she rushes to catch it, an amiable drunk grabs her and pulls her away from the edge. He assumes that she is on the bridge for the same reason that he is - to end it all by jumping over the edge. It turns out that the man is from the upper crust - part of 'society' and the idle rich. Only he has lost his fortune, and is about to end it all by jumping off of the bridge. Well, this leads to that, and Mary makes a deal with the broke millionaire - the millionaire will introduce her to his wealthy friends so that she can marry one of them, and she will give him a 'finder's fee' and return him to the ranks of the wealthy.

Through the rest of this plot we will meet a wealthy older man who Mary could have, but he is old and always drunk, and not very romantic. Then there is a blonde gal that will discover that Mary is a phony and when she meets the clod that likes Mary from the old neighborhood, they expose Mary to the wealthy set as a phoney gold digger. Then there is the jewel thief, and how Mary gets inadvertently involved and accused of theft. And the broke millionaire that is helping Mary . . . there may be some sparks between them, but it's a bit foggy. Like most feel-good romantic comedies, this one will end up with everyone smiling, and everyone winding up with the person that will make them happy, even though they may not have realized what they wanted until they got it.