Gallant Sons


1h 16m 1940
Gallant Sons

Brief Synopsis

When a man is charged with murder, his son's schoolboy friends set out to solve the case.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Fighting Sons
Genre
Drama
Mystery
Release Date
Nov 15, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 16m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Johnny Davis, the son of gambler "Natural" Davis, Byron "By" Newbold, the son of crusading newspaper editor Barton Newbold, and Kate Pendleton, the daughter of Clare Pendleton, a wealthy widow and sportswoman, are schoolmates. Barton Newbold, who is determined to publicize Natural's illicit activities, organizes a raid on Natural's casino, which Natural foils by quickly transforming the gambling room into a musical recital. Newbold's men follow Natural to Lucille Baker's apartment, where Natural accuses her of blackmailing him and his sweetheart Clare, until he realizes that Lucille is dead. Natural finds a gun near the body, and as soon as he picks it up, Newbold's men enter and accuse him of murder. A jury convicts Natural of first degree murder, and he is sentenced to ten years in prison. When Johnny visits his father in jail, Natural tells him that he has been placed in Clare's custody. Later, Johnny picks a fight with By, blaming his father for printing lies about Natural, and By punches Johnny. By gives Johnny a chance to prove his father's innocence by organizing a private investigation of Lucille's murder. Picking up the murder trail with a clue found in his father's office, By leads Johnny and Kate to Lucille's apartment building, where they question Madame Wachek, the building manager. Madame Wachek shows Kate a picture of Lucille's baby boy, which Kate immediately recognizes as Johnny. Shocked and bewildered, Kate runs off with the picture before Johnny sees it. When Kate shows her mother the picture, she is told the truth about Johnny--that when he was a baby he was abandoned by his mother, Lucille, and that after his father, a friend of Natural's, died, Natural adopted Johnny. Clare also explains that since then Lucille has demanded money to keep the truth about Johnny's parentage a secret. Later, a clue furnished by Madame Wachek leads the sleuthing threesome to the apartment of another tenant, Al Posna, who, to Madame Wachek's surprise, has secretly vacated his apartment. Inside the nearly empty apartment, Kate finds a sheet of music, plays the song on the piano and memorizes it in the hope that she will find the murderer when she hears it played. Kate's theory proves correct when they hear the song and locate Posna, who is using the name Al Milbar and running a nightclub show. With the help of their school classmates, Kate, Johnny and By cleverly decide to stage a play inspired by Hamlet , written in such a way as to provoke a confession from Posna. In the third act of the play, when Johnny and Kate play out a scene depicting the murder of Lucille, Posna panics, takes Clare as a hostage and tries to flee. By saves Clare by knocking Posna unconscious with a baseball. With Posna exposed as the murderer and Natural exonerated of the crime, Johnny and By make amends and Natural and Clare get married.

Film Details

Also Known As
Fighting Sons
Genre
Drama
Mystery
Release Date
Nov 15, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 16m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Gallant Sons -


Jackie Cooper's acting career started when his grandmother brought him along with her to open calls for movie extras. Appearances in "Our Gang" comedies, as well as an Oscar nomination in 1931 (the first given to a child actor) soon followed. But by 1940, the 18-year-old actor couldn't find his place in films. While not unhandsome, his looks didn't transfer well to a particular adolescent "type", and while talented, he didn't have the same bouyant charisma that Mickey Rooney relied upon to overcome his physical shortcomings. A spin as the meek "Henry Aldrich" in What A Life (1939) (a film adaptation of the popular radio show The Aldrich Family) proved unsatisfying, so Cooper spent the next year seeking tough guy roles, like a gunslinger in The Return Of Frank James (1940) and here, as a teen embroiled in an expose of an illegal gambling ring and a murder. The New York Times said Gallant Sons was "a satisfying, amusing and smartly paced mystery", but it wasn't enough to jump-start an adult career for Cooper. Electing instead to join the Navy, he took a few years to find his bearings again upon his Hollywood return.

By Violet LeVoit
Gallant Sons -

Gallant Sons -

Jackie Cooper's acting career started when his grandmother brought him along with her to open calls for movie extras. Appearances in "Our Gang" comedies, as well as an Oscar nomination in 1931 (the first given to a child actor) soon followed. But by 1940, the 18-year-old actor couldn't find his place in films. While not unhandsome, his looks didn't transfer well to a particular adolescent "type", and while talented, he didn't have the same bouyant charisma that Mickey Rooney relied upon to overcome his physical shortcomings. A spin as the meek "Henry Aldrich" in What A Life (1939) (a film adaptation of the popular radio show The Aldrich Family) proved unsatisfying, so Cooper spent the next year seeking tough guy roles, like a gunslinger in The Return Of Frank James (1940) and here, as a teen embroiled in an expose of an illegal gambling ring and a murder. The New York Times said Gallant Sons was "a satisfying, amusing and smartly paced mystery", but it wasn't enough to jump-start an adult career for Cooper. Electing instead to join the Navy, he took a few years to find his bearings again upon his Hollywood return. By Violet LeVoit

Quotes

Trivia

George J. Folsey took over as director of photography temporarily when Sidney Wagner became ill.

Notes

A working title for this film was Fighting Sons. The picture marked the return of former M-G-M contract player Jackie Cooper to the studio after leaving M-G-M in 1937 for Monogram. According to the George B. Seitz papers at the AFI Library, actor Bobby Jordan was originally considered for the part played by Leo Gorcey, and Henry O'Neill was penciled in for the part played by Minor Watson. A September 17, 1940 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that cameraman George Folsey substituted for Sid Wagner when Wagner fell ill.