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The First Hundred Years

The First Hundred Years(1938)

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David Conway and his wife Lynn, happily married for five years, owe their affluent New York lifestyle more to Lynn's salary as a successful literary and theatrical agent than David's as a ship designer. When David learns that he soon will be in charge of a shipyard in New Bedford, he assumes that Lynn will quit her job and be content to live on his salary, but she feels that her work is just as important as his. They argue, then make-up, but each incorrectly assumes that the other has changed position. When Lynn suggests that they each keep their jobs and get together on weekends, David realizes that she will not give up her work and leaves. Though she is very upset, her boss, Harry Borden, tells her to "out bluff" David by going on an assignment for a few days in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Harry's lawyer, Samuel Z. Walker, and David's lawyer, William Regan, discuss terms of the separation. When Lynn returns from Hollywood she discovers that a hearing has been set and learns from Judge Parker that she must pay David alimony of four hundred dollars a month during their separation, as she earns more than he. David doesn't want the money, but decides to "raise the ante" on their game of wills and accept. Some time later they meet in a nightclub where he has taken Claudia Weston, a client of Harry's. Lynn decides to go with them to the apartment of client George Wallace, who is also an old friend of David's, and watch George, perform on war drums left to him by his Indian grandfather. When David and Claudia leave, Lynn realizes that their marriage is over. A few days later, Lynn's Uncle Dawson sends a telegram that he wants to spend a night with them on the way to Europe, and she asks David to pretend that they are together so that Dawson will not be upset. This gives Walker a perfect opportunity to have someone spy on David and show that he returned home and therefore should not get alimony. During the night a storm frightens David and he goes to Lynn's room to comfort her. They are on the verge of being reconciled when Uncle Dawson catches Wilkins, Walker's "spy," in the hall. David then leaves, thinking that the whole thing was a trick perpetrated by Lynn. The next day, Lynn learns through the results of a routine examination for life insurance that she is pregnant. She goes to David, who is clearing his things from their apartment, and asks to be reconciled, but he refuses, saying that nothing is left between them. She leaves without telling him about the baby, but a few moments later Harry and Walker, both drunk from celebrating, joyfully congratulate David on the baby. David then runs after Lynn and they drive off for New Bedford together. David then says that maybe they should have a baby and Lynn says she'll think about it.