The Law of Contact

Alimony (June 11, 1949)

Martha Vickers in Alimony

Released June 11, 1949: (running time 1 hour and 20 minutes) The story of a small time girl that goes to the big city determined to get the best things in life by throwing herself at wealthy men.

Directed by Alfred Zeisler

The Actors: Martha Vickers (Kitty Travers, aka Kate Klinger), John Beal (Dan Barker), Hillary Brooke (Linda Waring), Laurie Lind (Helen Drake), Douglass Dumbrille (Burt Crail), James Guilfoyle (Paul Klinger), Marie Blake (Mrs. Nesbitt), Leonid Kinskey (Joe Wood), Ralph Graves (George Griswold / Curtis P. Carter), William Ruhl (Fred Richards), Harry Lauter (doctor), Phil Arnold (Bob Lacy), Stanley Blystone (court bailiff), Eddie Borden (courtroom spectator), Ralph Brooks (courtroom spectator), Jack Chefe (Mr. Dumont), Tom Coleman (nightclub waiter), Helen Dickson (courtroom spectator), Franklyn Farnum (courtroom spectator), Sam Harris (nightclub patron), Don C. Harvey (detective), Stuart Holmes (courtroom spectator), Ralph Montgomery (400 Club Emcee), Jack Perrin (courtroom spectator), Louis Quince (courtroom spectator), Charles Sherlock (courtroom spectator).


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"Dan Barker, you know a lot about music, but you know very little about women." - Ahhh, isn't that the truth about all of us guys? Well, part of it, I mean. I know just about as much about music as I do about women . . . which is not much. But how to these women learn all of the angles? Is there a high school course that guys never know about? Why is it that a man can figure out how to build a skyscraper, but cannot figure out what makes a girl tick? A guy can negotiate with sharp businessmen and come out on top, but when he sits next to a pretty girl on a soft couch, all reason flees and he is not as smart as a fifth grader.

Enter Kate Klinger from Minnisota, who goes to the big city to find fame and fortune. Especially fortune. She changes her name to Kitty Travers, and moves into a rooming house with several other people, including aspiring song writer Dan Barker. Kitty doesn't think much of him, and Dan has a girlfriend anyway, a sweet little thing named Linda. Dan struggles in poverty trying to create music for a Broadway show that will make him famous. Kitty has a girl friend that gets her involved with a shyster lawyer who makes his money by framing husbands and then getting plenty of alimony for the agrieved wife. And business is booming. But one day Kitty answers the phone in the boarding house and takes a message for Dan. It seems that a Broadway producer wants to feature his music in a new show, and Dan will be not only famous, but wealthy. All of a sudden bells go off in Kitty's head, and her eyes shine with anticipation. When Dan walks in, and Kitty gives him the message, he gets excited, and Kitty manages to get him to celebrate with her instead of Linda, Dan's long time girl friend. This leads to that, and Kitty has Dan breaking off his friendship with Linda, and plans are made for Kitty and Dan to wed. But alas, the star of the new Broadway show is in an accident, and the show is cancelled, along with Dan's wealth from his music. Kitty turns on a dime, and tosses Dan to the curb with a bewildered look on his face.

Dan sheepishly returns to Linda and begs her to forgive him and take him back, which Linda does. Linda and Dan get married, and a song that Dan wrote about Kitty when they were together becomes the number one hit in America, and Dan is in the money big time. Guess what happens next? Yup, you got it . . . Kitty returns, and breaks up the marriage of Dan and Linda, and gets Dan to shower Kitty with expensive gifts and move out of his home with Linda. Boy are men dumb. I"m sometimes ashamed to be one. Sheesh, after thousands of years of "Kitty's" . . . we still don't learn. Well, Kitty stays with Dan until the money dries up again, and then . . . yup, you got it . . . Kitty tosses Dan to the curb again, and goes after a wealthy older man. Do we see a pattern here? Will it ever be broken? Is there one man out there that can handle Kitty? Is there one man out there who can beat Kitty at her own racket? Will the universe balance itself out, or will gold-digging women rule the world? Maybe they already do . . . is that what they mean when they say that behind every successful man is a smart woman? Lord help us.

Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn, drizzle on plenty of warm melted butter, and enjoy a story from 1949 that is probably happening right now somewhere not too far away from where you are right now. Maybe even happening to you . . .