Along Came Love (November 6, 1936)
Released on November 6, 1936: Emmy Grant is a simple shop clerk with dreams, and when she spots the man of her dreams, she will try anything to get his attention in this lovable romantic comedy.
Directed by Bert Lytell
Written by Austin Strong and Arthur Caesar.
The Actors: Irene Hervey (Emmy Grant), Charles Starrett (John Patrick O'Ryan), Doris Kenyon (Mrs. Gould), H.B. Warner (Dr. Martin), Irene Franklin (Mrs. Minnie 'Goldie' Grant), Bernadene Hayes (Sarah Jewett), Ferdinand Gottschalk (Mr. Vincent), Charles Judels (Joe Jacobs), Frank Reicher (planetarium lecturer), Mathilde Comont (customer), Baby Edward (Baby Edward), Lowden Adams (store manager), Herbert Ashley (policeman), Wilson Benge (Dr. Martin's butler), Vance Carroll (policeman), Sam Flint (dinner party guest), Broderick O'Farrell (floorwalker), Harry Semels (orangeade stand proprietor).
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Romantic Comedies about the pretty young girl who chases after her Prince Charming and gets him, then loses him, and tries to get him again, are always fun to watch, and this one has even more to offer. 1936 America was so very different than today, and this movie shows us a very different America.
Our romantic adventure starts in a new and wonderous theater where they project the stars on the ceiling . . . they call it a 'Planetarium' and it is a wondrous sight that must have awed the theater goers of 1936. Emmy, the daughter of a vaudeville theater star, has stars in her eyes, and she is searching for her perfect man, who she models after Orion, the great fighter in the stars. She works in the bargain basement of a large department store, with hopes and dreams of much bigger and better things. One day she gets two tickets to a theater, so she and the other sales clerk that she works with head uptown to the theater. Emmy falls on the sidewalk, and the doorman at the theater comes over and helps her to her feet. Today theaters do not have doormen - theaters are just places where we crowd into after fighting for a parking spot and making our way to the volunteer or minimum wage employee that takes our ticket and permits us to enter. But in 1936 we see a tall handsome man with a cap that would make a General proud, and a long cape that would shame Superman with his measly little red cape. This man opens cab doors for patrons, and opens the theater door guests with a smile and a bow. This day the theater doorman is John Patrick O'Ryan, and Emmy sees stars and gets faint at the sight of this manly man. She is instantly in love, and instantly determined to make him hers. But we have a problem. Of course, with no problems or crises, we wouldn't have much of a movie plot. And this movie has plenty of twists and turns on the way to our happy ending. John is working his way through medical school, and he is about to become a doctor.
Now here is the next thing that is so very different than today's America - John is going to become a doctor. Today doctors are among the most respected and highest paid professionals in the country. There are no 'poor' doctors anywhere . . . doctors are always among the wealthiest people in every community. But in 1936 becoming a doctor meant that you would earn much less than everyone else, and your wife and family could look forward to a life of having less than everyone else in the community. Wow, it is difficult to understand that in today's world. But that is how it was. So when Emmy finally wins John's attention and affection, her mom, a gal that sang bawdy songs on Vaudeville in years past, decides to go back to work so that she won't be a burden to the young couple.
Now Emmy's mom is a typical 'mom' - a pretty lady, but with the middle age body of a good mom, not the thin, supple body of a young Vaudeville performer. And Vaudeville has changed. Now instead of comedy acts and singing acts, it is mostly young girls in various stages of undress that hoochy-cooch to the young male audience, and Emma's mom just isn't cut out for that. But her old Vaudeville boss puts her back to work, and her first night, singing her bawdy song, the place is raided by the cops and everyone is arrested, including Emma's mom. Emma is mortified, and after talking to John's mentor, is convinced that she should leave John so that his career isn't tainted by the scandal. So Emmy disappears from her job at the bargain basement of the department store, and it looks like this story will not have a happy ending. But wait dear soul, do not despair. Keep on munching your buttered white kernel popcorn and do not lose hope, because like every romantic comedy worth it's salt, we will get John and Emmy together somehow before the closing credits . . . and maybe even tie up some other loose ends that I haven't even mentioned yet.