Great Gog Gold (April 15, 1935)

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Sidney Blackmer flips his coin
 

Released on April 15, 1935: Wall Street genius John Hart teams up with two lawyers to get wealthy by destroying struggling businesses during the Great Depression.

Directed by Arthur Lubin

The Actors: Sidney Blackmer (John Hart), Martha Sleeper (Marcia Harper), Regis Toomey (Phil Stuart), Edwin Maxwell (Nitto), Ralf Harolde (Fdrank Nitto), Maria Alba (Elena Nitto), John T. Murray (Simon), Gloria Shea (Gert, secretary), George Irving (George Harper), Howard C. Hickman (Dunbar, Marcia's attorney), Frank LaRue (Dupont), Rose Plumer (Mrs. Ethel E. Jones), Forrest Taylor (stock broker Jackson).

 

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Heads I win, Tails you lose

When I was a young pup I was working for U.S. Steel just as the great industrial steel belt was beginning to get 'rusty.' Foreign steel was very inexpensive, and steel plants in Ohio were closing one by one. The Youngstown, Ohio area declined quickly and jobs in the area became very scarce. One day I decided that my only path to a better life was to leave the area. Youngstown is almost exactly half way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and I decided that I needed to move to one or the other. I flipped a coin and within a month my young wife and I packed up and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where I worked for the next 20 or so years. Sidney Blackmer, the leading man in this Great Depression thriller, makes all of his big decisions by flipping an old coin. Because of a flip of this coin Blackmer, playing the part of John Hart, wall street genius, decides to sell all of his holdings just before the stock market crashes in October of 1929. That flip of a coin served stock maven John Hart well, but the next decisions that he makes because of a flip of a coin. Against his better judgment he decides to team up with a pair of unscrupulous lawyers in a scheme to get rich on the misfortunes of businesses having bad times because of the Great Depression. You see, just like big business today, there is a fortune to be made by taking over a troubled business and getting rid of the employees and selling the parts of the business in bankruptcy. John Hart and the two lawyers are becoming very wealthy by destroying companies in financial trouble, but there is a fly in the ointment. The first target of the trio is a large hotel owned by George Harper, played by George Irving. He jumps to his death the same night that he is served with court papers that will take his hotel from him, and his young daughter Marcia Harper, played by Martha Sleeper, is upset and determined to somehow bring John Hart a bit of the trouble that he is dishing out to all the people being destroyed by his actions. This is an amazing look at the Great Depression era and the lives of the winners and losers of that terrible era that easily could have happened after the recent 'Great Recession' of 2008 that we still find ourselves involved with. Yes, I'm betting that indeed, stories just like this one are happening right now around the world. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and keep a coin in one hand that you can flip to determine which players are the good guys and which are the bad guys. And why would you need to flip a coin to determine who is naughty and who is nice? You see, wall street genius John Hart is brought down in the end by a jealous husband, but the business dealings that made him rich at the expense of so many little people was all very legal, as it still is today.

Edwin Maxwell and John T. Murray
Edwin Maxwell and John T. Murray
Forrest Taylor and Sidney Blackmer
Forrest Taylor and Sidney Blackmer
Forrest Taylor in Great God Gold
Forrest Taylor in Great God Gold
George Irving and Martha Sleeper
George Irving and Martha Sleeper
George Irving as Excelsior Hotel owner George Harper
George Irving as Excelsior Hotel owner George Harper
Gloria Shea and Sidney Blackmer
Gloria Shea and Sidney Blackmer
Gloria Shea in Great God Gold
Gloria Shea in Great God Gold
Gloria Shea stares at Sidney Blackmer with stars in her eyes
Gloria Shea stares at Sidney Blackmer with stars in her eyes
Gloria Shea has a run in her stockings
Gloria Shea has a run in her stockings
Howard C. Hickman and Martha Sleeper in Great God Gold
Howard C. Hickman and Martha Sleeper in Great God Gold
John T. Murray and Edwin Maxwell greet wall street maven John Hart
John T. Murray and Edwin Maxwell greet wall street maven John Hart
John T. Murray as Simon in Great God Gold
John T. Murray as Simon in Great God Gold
Maria Alba and Sidney Blackmer
Maria Alba and Sidney Blackmer
Maria Alba as Elena Nitto
Maria Alba as Elena Nitto
Martha Sleeper and George Irving
Martha Sleeper and George Irving
Martha Sleeper as Marcia Harper in Great God Gold
Martha Sleeper as Marcia Harper in Great God Gold
Martha Sleeper faces Sidney Blackmer
Martha Sleeper faces Sidney Blackmer
Ralf Harolde as Frank Nitto in Great God Gold
Ralf Harolde as Frank Nitto in Great God Gold
Regis Toomey and Martha Sleeper
Regis Toomey and Martha Sleeper
Regis Toomey and Sidney Blackmer
Regis Toomey and Sidney Blackmer
Regis Toomey as reporter Phil Stuart
Regis Toomey as reporter Phil Stuart
Regis Toomey in Great God Gold
Regis Toomey in Great God Gold
Sidney Blackmer and Edwin Maxwell
Sidney Blackmer and Edwin Maxwell
Sidney Blackmer in Great God Gold
Sidney Blackmer in Great God Gold
Sidney Blackmer as wall street genius John Hart in Great God Gold
Sidney Blackmer as wall street genius John Hart in Great God Gold