The Town Went Wild (December 15, 1944)
Released on December 15, 1944: Two feuding fathers discover that their baby boys were switched at birth, meaning that one of the boys is about to marry his sister.
Directed by Ralph Murphy
Written by Bernard B. Roth, Clarence Greene and Russell Rouse.
The Actors: Freddie Bartholomew (David Conway), Jimmy Lydon (Bob Harrison), Edward Everett Horton (Everett Conway), Tom Tully (Henry Harrison), Jill Browning (Carol Harrison), Minna Gombell (Marian Harrison), Maude Eburne (Judge Bingle), Charles Halton (Mr. Tweedle), Ruth Lee (Lucille Conway), Roberta Smith (Millie Walker), Ferris Taylor (Mr. Walker), Jimmy Conlin (Lemuel Jones, Justice of the Peace), Monte Collins (Oscar, public defender), Olin Howland (unknown), Charles Middleton (Sam, Midvale District Attorney), Emmett Lynn (watchman), Dorothy Vaughan (Irma Reeves, nurse), Harry C. Bradley (Mr. Wilson, marriage license clerk), Ernst Brengt (unknown), Frederick Burton (Dr. Hendricks), Chester Clute (Mr. Kurtz), Dick Elliott (Mayor of Midvale), Tom Kennedy (policeman in court room), Ida Moore (Mrs. Annie Jones, wife of the Justice of the Peace), Will Wright (Judge Harry Schrank).
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Pop the white kernel popcorn, drizzle on plenty of butter, grab the kids and get ready for an hour of fun and frolic in small town in the middle of America. This tangled up tale of feuding neighbors and babies switched at birth will keep you laughing till the popcorn bowl is empty.
As our adventure opens we meet two neighbors, and the husbands have been feuding since they were kids. Each of the families have teenage sons . . . and they were both born on the same day many years ago. Nothing particularly disastrous yet, but just you wait! The son of one of these feuding fathers is in love with the daughter of the other feuding father, and they get a marriage license and intend to elope and get married in neighboring Midvale, with the help of the girl's brother, who you remember was born on the same day as our potential groom. At the same time they are racing to Midvale to get married, the town clerk is visiting the two fathers to tell them that their sons were mixed up at birth. So the Conway son is really the Harrison son, and visa versa. But before the kids can get married, they are told that the marriage license is only one day old, and there is a three day waiting period in this state. So the kids go back home, and discover that the two boys were switched at birth. After a confusing court appearance, the judge orders the two teens to switch homes, and return to their real parents.
Just imagine the confusion and pandemonium that is bound to result. Before this comedy is over, our feuding fathers will get put in jail together, and finally make up, and the kids endure the wrath of the town when it is learned that a brother and sister have fraudulently obtained a marriage license. Through all of the laughs, you will enjoy the simpler life of 1944, and enjoy watching two 'normal' families as they grapple with a situation that would be impossible in this day of DNA testing, but is the fodder for a wonderfully comical hour of family entertainment. You may try to predict how this one will finally wind up, but I'm betting that the ending will surprise you all!