Money and the Woman


1h 7m 1940

Brief Synopsis

An embezzler's wife begs his boss for forgiveness, only to fall in love with him.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Aug 17, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Embezzler" by James M. Cain in Liberty (7 Feb--6 Mar 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Dave Bennett, the vice president of a California banking corporation, is sent to investigate Charles Patterson, a clerk in the savings department at the Santa Monica branch. When Patterson falls gravely ill and is hospitalized for an operation, his wife Barbara fills in for him, and Dave soon falls in love with her. Over the course of his investigation, Dave discovers a shortage in Patterson's books, but because he loves Barbara, he withholds the information from the bonding company and lends her $9,000 to balance the books. Secretly, Barbara and Dave deposit money into forty-seven savings accounts in order to protect Jeannie, her daughter, from the knowlege that her father is a criminal. Later, when Barbara uncovers a plot by her husband and his mistress, Miss Church, the bank bookkeeper, to rob the bank, she plans a trip to Reno, where she intends to divorce Charles. Meanwhile, Charles, who has been released from the hospital, returns home, and, in an attempt to frame Barbara for the missing money at the bank, demands $9,000 from her father and tells him that the money will keep Barbara out of jail. When he refuses to give Charles the money, Charles locks his father-in-law and Jeannie in the closet and flees. Barbara and Dave try to prevent the bank heist from taking place, but when Barbara faints, Charles takes advantage of the diversion and sneaks into the bank vault. When Barbara and Dave learn that the vault in which Charles is locked is on a timed locking mechanism and cannot be opened until the following morning, they notify the police and wait for him to emerge. As expected, the vault opens automatically the next morning, but Charles manages to shoot his way out. A bullet hits Dave, who is hospitalized but is soon released. Later, Barbara is questioned by police, and Dave begins to doubt her innocence, but he soon changes his mind when new clues point to Miss Church's home, where they find Charles and the money. Charles eludes capture once again, but is eventually captured following a car chase. After Charles and Miss Church are arrested, Dave is honored as a hero and is offered a job at the bank's Honolulu branch, which he vows to accept only if Barbara consents to join him.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Aug 17, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Embezzler" by James M. Cain in Liberty (7 Feb--6 Mar 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A biography on James M. Cain notes that his story was inspired by a man named Clarke Fitzpatrick, an old friend, who wrote to him asking for his comments on a study that he had written about embezzlement within his insurance company, entitled "1001 Embezzlers." According to the biography, Warner Bros. bought Cain's story for $3,500 in January 1940 and hired Cain to work on the script. A March 15, 1940 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Cain and Fred Niblo, Jr. had "turned in the completed screenplay" of the film, but Niblo's contribution to the film has not been determined. In 1943, Cain's story was published in a collection of his serials entitled Three of a Kind. Cain's biography also notes that producer Bryan Foy, who attended early story conferences on the film, vetoed an early draft of the script because he felt that the Hays Office would never approve a story in which the heroine is married to an embezzler. According to an Los Angeles Examiner pre-production news item, Money and the Woman was originally set as a George Brent, Frances Farmer and Humphrey Bogart vehicle, with Kurt Bernhardt directing and Bryan Foy producing. Hollywood Reporter news items indicate that Brent, who was slated for the male lead, was replaced by Dennis Morgan, who was eventually replaced by Jeffrey Lynn. A May 2, 1940 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that actress Priscilla Lane, who was assigned to play the female lead, was suspended by Warner Bros. after she refused to take the part. Lane's agent reportedly told the studio that "the role is not one that she should be asked to do" and that the replacement of Brent with Morgan was a factor in her decision not to accept the assignment. Production work on the film was temporarily halted due to Lane's departure. The film marked Jeffrey Lynn's first star billing.