August Weekend (February 18, 1936)
Released on February 18, 1936: When a wealthy young woman loses her fortune, she is wooed by a wealthy older man and a poor younger man.
Directed by Charles Lamont
Written by Faith Baldwin and Paul Perez.
The Actors: Valerie Hobson (Claire Barry), G.P. Huntley (Kim Sherwood), Paul Harvey (George Washburne), Betty Compson (Ethel Ames), Claire McDowell (Alma Washburne), Frank Melton (Ronnie Washburne), Gigi Parrish (Elinor), Howard C. Hickman (Spencer), Dorothea Kent (Midge Washburne), Maynard Holmes (Dave Maxwell), Edgar Norton (Grimsby, butler), Paul Irving (Max Stanfield), Paul West (taxi driver)
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1936 - the middle of the Great Depression in the U.S. - the stock market crashes, jobs disappear, poor people get poorer, middle class workers lose their jobs, wealthy families are thrust into poverty. The Wall Street Journal was published by the Bancroft family, but in this tale of wealth and the lives and morals of the wealthy, our host for the weekend, Goerge Washburne, is the wealthy publisher of that newspaper.
Our movie opens with George Washburne welcoming Claire Barry into his office. Washburne is executor of her parents will, and dispenses her money to her each month. But this day he tells her that because of the horrible stock market all of her money is gone - she is dead broke. He then informs her that if she were to 'like' him more, he would take care of her in a royal way. She politely puts him down and leaves. He decides to invite Claire and a group of others to his Long Island estate for the weekend, and try to woo her. Now lets meet some of the characters that we will spend the weekend with.
George has a no-nonsense wife that know he chases the young ladies, but she accepts him for what he is, even though she longs for their early days before he was wealthy, and they shared love and affection instead of just money. George has two grown children, a blonde daughter and a son who is a college dropout, and dispises wealth and the wealthy. There is the young fellow that Claire likes - he is of aristocratic parentage, but poor as a church mouse. George tells him to come for the weekend, and if he can woo George's daughter into marrying him, George will finance their future in grand style. George believes that this will eliminate him as competition for Claire. We also meet the gardener of the estate, a fellow that once owned a thriving business, but was broken and forced into bankruptcy by George, who then gave him a job as the gardener of the estate. The gardner also has a young daughter who lives at the estate. There is also the fellow that loves George's daughter, who also seems to have eyes for Claire, and the British butler, who is trying to master American slang.
Now that we see the menagerie of characters assembled for this weekend of debauchery and intrigue, let me add one more kicker into this drama of the wealthy. George gets a visit from his lawyer telling him that the government has discovered that he has been cheating on his income taxes, and they will put him in jail for at least ten years if he doesn't flee the country quickly. Grab a bowl of hot buttered white kernel popcorn, and get ready to peek into the lives of a group of wealthy, and used to be wealthy folk. And don't worry about the dastardly dealings of all these folk . . . this one will end pretty well, if I do say so myself :~)