Happiness C.O.C. (October 15, 1935)
Released on October 15, 1935: A family facing financial ruin discovers that together they can find everything that they need to be happy, including plenty of money.
Directed by Charles Lamont
Written by Robert Ellis and Helen Logan
The Actors: Maude Eburne (Aunt Addie), Donald Meek (Thomas Sherridan), Irene Ware (Carroll Sherridan), William Bakewell (Ken Sherridan), Polly Ann Young (Eleanor, secretary), Lona Andre (Beatrice Manning), Frank Coghlan Jr. (Larry Sherridan), Malcolm McGregor (Jim Martin), Edwin Maxwell (Lester Walsh), Robert McKenzie (Sam Townsend), Fred Sumner (Mr. Manning), Richard Carlyle (Reverend Huxley), John Dilson (Snyder), Lionel Backus (taxi cab driver), Richard Cramer (delivery man), Jack Shutta (express man), Harry Strang (delivery man)
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The High Cost of Living
Waaaay back in the 1970's when I was trying mightily to sell life insurance for the New York Life company my office manager and I were talking about the high inflation that was ravaging the country and how difficult it was to make ends meet. I don't remember a lot about that conversation, but he made one statement that has stuck with me ever since. It hit me like a ton of bricks when he told me that it wasn't so much the high cost of living that gets us into trouble as it was the cost of living high. When times get tough, the happiest people are the ones that can stop spending money on things they want, and just enjoy the things that they truly need. This movie was filmed in the middle of the Great Depression, and the Sherridan family lives like it was still the roaring twenties. The kids spend money like it grows on trees and the father, played perfectly by meek and mild Donald Meek pulls every string he can to continue paying for their life of fun and luxury. The poop hits the fan when papa's boss, who holds the mortgage on the house, tells papa that he must permit inferior cement to be used to construct the new hospital so that everyone can make a bunch of money, including papa Sherridan. The moral conflict begins when old Aunt Addie, papa's sister, tells the kids about papa's dilemma, and they all quickly decide to stop spending like there is no tomorrow and begin looking for ways to add to the family fortunes. And guess what? They discover that they are much happier spending less money on chasing a good time and trying instead to help each other. The grand secret of happiness C.O.D. is contained in this amazing family drama from waaaaay back before we were even born. Recently Mike Dooley said, "And the day will come when all of the gold in the world will not appeal to you as much, Jimbo, as just one more day of being who and where you already are, with what you already have." I think he already knows this secret of happiness. And you know what? When the family discovers that they need each other a lot more than they need to buy 'things' they discover that they will also get the money that they need . . . and a lot more for all of the extra things that they desire as well. Grab the kids and make a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and be happy.
Donald Meek and Maude Eburne in Happiness C.O.C.
Donald Meek as Thomas Sherridan
Donald Meek is threatened by Lester Walsh, played by Edwin Maxwell
Edwin Maxwell as Uncle Lester Walsh in Happiness C.O.D.
Frank Coghlan Jr. as Larry Sherridan
Frank Coghlan Jr. in evening dress as he is about to paint the town red
Frank Coghlan Jr. scares Maude Eburne with his new shotgun
Fred Sumner as Mr. Manning
Irene Ware as Carroll Sherridan
Irene Ware in Happiness C.O.D.
Lona Andre in Happiness C.O.D.
Malcolm McGregor and Irene Ware
Malcolm McGregor in Happiness C.O.D.
Maude Eburne and Richard Carlyle
Maude Eburne as Aunt Addie Sherridan
Maude Eburne reprimands Irene Ware
Maude Eburne woos Robert McKenzie
Polly Ann Young and Donald Meek
Polly Ann Young and Irene Ware
Polly Ann Young as Eleanor, Tom Sherridan's secretary
Richard Carlyle as Reverend Huxley
Robert McKenzie as building contractor Sam Townsend
Robert McKenzie helps Maude Eburne wash the dishes after dinner
Irene Ware and William Bakewell
William Bakewell and Robert McKenzie
William Bakewell wiht a moustache, as Ken Sherridan
William Bakewell as Ken Sherridan in Happiness C.O.D.