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A 19th century con artist rises from medicine shows to Wall Street.
During the Civil War, New Englander Jim Fisk, the "Barnum of Peddlers," and his confidence game partners, Nick Boyd and Luke, make a fortune smuggling Southern cotton but discover later that their profits, which Luke had converted into Confederate bonds, are worthless. Down but not beaten, Fisk devises a scheme whereby the bonds can be used to finagle the pious but greedy Daniel Drew into selling his shipping business and turn a profit for themselves. To celebrate their Wall Street triumph, Fisk, Boyd and Luke attend a French musical revue, where Fisk meets Josie Mansfield, the beautiful maid to the show's star. Mesmerized by the aspiring actress, Fisk dedicates himself to bankrolling a show for her, which annoys the equally infatuated, jealous Boyd. Drew, meanwhile, having been ridiculed by his longtime business rival, Cornelius Vanderbilt, approaches Fisk with a plan to prevent Vanderbilt from buying out his Erie railroad company, which Fisk cleverly expands upon to his own financial advantage. Vanderbilt's attempts at blocking Fisk's railroad stock manipulations fail, but infuriated investors chase Fisk and company all the way to New Jersey, where he establishes a military style stronghold. At the opening of her show, the New York audience, many of whom have lost money due to Fisk's schemes, turns on Josie, who, out of gratitude, has accepted Fisk's marriage proposal. Disenchanted and heartbroken over Josie, Boyd finally deserts his partner, whose lust for power and money culminates in a singlehanded attempt at cornering the gold market and leads to Black Friday. By releasing the government's gold supply to the public market, President Ulysses S. Grant finally stops Fisk's outrageous Wall Street manipulations. Shot by an angry, riotous investor, the defeated Fisk gives Josie and Boyd his blessing and dies.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York premiere: 22 Jul 1937|
|Release Date:||1937||Production Date:||
An Edward Small Production
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (RCA Victor System)||Production Co:||RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.|
|Duration(mins):||100 or 109||Country:||United States|
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Identify Farmer movie (out of context)
Back in the mid 1940s I saw a movie with Frances, I was teenager but was enthralled with Frances, all I can remember; scene took place in a cabin or...
Couldnt finish film
Laura J 2011-03-01
I had this taped from a few weeks ago and made time to watch it. It didnt look like my kind of film but because of who was in the cast, I thought it...
Another great pairing of Edward Arnold and Frances Farmer. A shame each of them did not have better careers, Arnold soon evolved into a character actor...