The Amazing Adventure of Ernest Bliss (July 28, 1936)
Released on July 28, 1936: (running time 62 minutes) A bored wealthy man atempts to live for one year without his riches, working with his wits and his muscle, but with none of his inherited wealth.
Produced by Alfred Zeisler
Directed by Alfred Zeisler
Written by John L. Balderston from a novel by E. Phillips Oppenheim
The Actors: Cary Grant (Ernest Bliss), Mary Brian (Frances Clayton), Peter Gawthorne (Sir James Alroyd), Henry Kendall (Lord 'Ronnie' Honiton), Leon M. Lion (Dorrington), John Turnbull (Masters), Arthur Hardy (Crawley), Iris Ashley (Clare), Garry Marsh (the buyer for Ellerman's Supplies Ltd.), Andreas Malandrinos (Guiseppi), Alfred Wellesley (Montague), Marie Wright (Mrs. Heath, landlady), Buena Bent (Mrs. Mott), Charles Farrell (Scales), Quentin McPhearson (Clowes, Bliss' butler), Hal Gordon (Bill Bronson, mechanic), Alf Goddard (Butcher Bill), Moore Marriott (Edwards, garage manager), Johnnie Schofield (lift operator), Frank Stanmore (Mr. Mott), Norma Varden (unknown)
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The Hardest Job in the World
This movie brought me memories of nightmare evenings when I was a 27 year old man who thought that he could do anything. I was working in the steel mill that two of my uncles worked in their entire life, but I was restless. I knew that I would not be a preacher like my father, but had no idea what I could do or be that would satisfy my inner restlessness.
One day I saw a help wanted ad in the newspaper for life insurance salesmen, promising great wealth for the right people. In my head there was nothing in this world that I could not do as well or better than anyone else, so I boldly applied for the job. After a series of interviews the manager of the office asked me and my young wife to come for a personal meeting. He started telling us that selling life insurance was not for everyone, and that there were many good jobs out there besides selling life insurance. Well, . . . . I knew at once that he was trying to softly dump me and tell me that he would not hire me, so I indignantly interrupted and insisted that I was the man for the job and nothing would stop me from doing it. He decided to hire me and my adventure with selling pieces of paper with promises on them for a monthly payment began.
I enjoyed greatly the job of sitting with young families and showing them that they needed financial security, and pointing them to one of the finest insurance companies in the world . . . . That part was fun and rewarding. The part I couldn’t do was the Monday Night Phone Ordeal. To set up appointments for the week, I would shut myself in an empty room of my house and start dialing numbers . . . . “Hello, my name is Berkey, Jim Berkey, and I would like to tell you about an amazing new plan to save incredible amounts of money for your retirement” . . . . click . . . . . dial the next phone number . . . . “Hello, my name is Berkey, Jim Berkey, and I would like to tell you about an amazing new plan to save incredible amounts of money for your retirement.” . . . click. . .
By the end of the evening I felt worse than I have ever felt before or after. I was, and am, not good at accepting incredibly large amounts of rejection to find the very few receptive people. After a year of that torture, decided to go another direction . . . I had found one more career that would not answer my restless spirit.
In this adventure wealthy Ernest Bliss of London tries to sell cooking stoves door-to-door in 1936 London, with much rejection. Why is one of England’s wealthiest men trying to sell stoves door-to-door? Doctor’s Orders. . . . Ernest Bliss could not spend all the money he had inherited if he tried, but he had a restlessness in his spirit that all his money could not fix. When he went to a doctor who specialized in wealthy patients he was told bluntly that his physical health was perfect, and that the disease that was harming him was called ‘Too Much Money.’
The doctor challenged him to go away from his wealthy friends in London and work for a year without any of his money . . . . Live on what he could earn at a job, and if he couldn’t earn enough money for food, experience the hunger that results. Something clicked inside the wealthy man and he did just that. His butler helped him pack a small bag and he went off to the other side of the Themes, in a poor working class neighborhood with only a bit of pocket change. He would live for one year in a place where no one would know who he was. He would live and work for one year by his wits and working ability at any job that would have him.
There is a popular saying among some girls stating that anyone who thinks that money cannot buy happiness does not know where to shop. Cool saying, but it begs the question of whether money can make a sad man happy, or if money is best used by a happy man who can live joyfully with it, or without it. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Cary Grant and Garry Marsh
Cary Grant and Hal Gordon
Cary Grant and Leon M. Lion
John Turnbull and Mary Brian
Leon M. Lion
Leon M. Lion
Mary Brian and Cary Grant
Mary Brian and John Turnbull