Father Is a Prince


57m 1939
Father Is a Prince

Brief Synopsis

An industrialist values money over his family's happiness.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Nov 18, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Big Hearted Herbert by Sophie Kerr Underwood and Anna Steese Richardson (New York, 1 Jan 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6 reels

Synopsis

Salesman John Bower, who rules his family with an iron fist, makes a good living selling carpet sweepers, but his frugality forces his delicate wife Susan to work too hard. His son Junior wants to become an engineer like his uncle, but John, who did not attend college and resents all college graduates, insists that he come into the business with his father. John and Susan's daughter Connie returns from a vacation engaged to Gary Lee, the scion of wealthy vacuum cleaner manufacturers. Gary is a lawyer and his father is also a college man. Susan, expecting trouble when John learns of the engagement, suggests that Gary and his parents all come to dinner that evening and she will slip the news to him then. Meanwhile, John is facing a large delinquent income tax payment. The tax assessor points out that most of the payment is a penalty which could have been avoided if the miserly John had been willing to hire an accountant. As a result, John leaves the office in a fit of anger, and when he arrives home to find his dinner clothes laid out for him, his anger mounts and he refuses to join Gary's family for dinner. When Mr. and Mrs. Lee arrive, Susan tells them that her husband is working late. At that moment, John discovers a vaccum cleaner that Gary has given to Susan and goes into a rage at having his competitor's product in his house. Embarassed by John's temper, the Lees leave the Bower house and Connie runs to her bedroom, upset. Susan goes to comfort her and when John follows, Susan informs him that she wants a divorce. The excitement is too much for Susan, however, and she faints. Dr. Mark Stone is called and informs John that Susan needs a specialist. Susan's condition forces John to recognize the folly of his ways and realize how much he loves his family. The family then reconciles and after Susan recovers, John hires Gary to straighten out his income taxes.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Nov 18, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Big Hearted Herbert by Sophie Kerr Underwood and Anna Steese Richardson (New York, 1 Jan 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6 reels

Articles

Father Is a Prince


Character actor Grant Mitchell got a rare shot at top billing in this amiable B picture from Warner Bros. Best known for supporting turns in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), he specialized in henpecked husbands and stern taskmasters. The latter came into play for this gentle family comedy, in which he stars as a tightwad vacuum cleaner manufacturer who runs his family like a military brigade. When daughter Jan Clayton announces her engagement to George Reeves, the son of a business rival, family pressures explode. Warner's had filmed the Sophie Kerr Underwood-Anna Steese Richardson play Big Hearted Herbert under its original title in 1934, with Guy Kibbee and Aline McMahon in the leads. For the remake, Warner's paired Mitchell with the prolific Nana Bryant, a warm actress at her best in motherly roles like this (and as Marilyn Monroe's prospective mother-in-law in 1950's Ladies of the Chorus). The film also showcases a pair of rising talents. Clayton would go on to Broadway stardom in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, and then play Tommy Rettig's mother on Lassie. Although he had a small part in Gone With the Wind (1939) as one of the Tarleton Twins, Reeves would be better known as Superman on the popular syndicated television series.

By Frank Miller
Father Is A Prince

Father Is a Prince

Character actor Grant Mitchell got a rare shot at top billing in this amiable B picture from Warner Bros. Best known for supporting turns in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), he specialized in henpecked husbands and stern taskmasters. The latter came into play for this gentle family comedy, in which he stars as a tightwad vacuum cleaner manufacturer who runs his family like a military brigade. When daughter Jan Clayton announces her engagement to George Reeves, the son of a business rival, family pressures explode. Warner's had filmed the Sophie Kerr Underwood-Anna Steese Richardson play Big Hearted Herbert under its original title in 1934, with Guy Kibbee and Aline McMahon in the leads. For the remake, Warner's paired Mitchell with the prolific Nana Bryant, a warm actress at her best in motherly roles like this (and as Marilyn Monroe's prospective mother-in-law in 1950's Ladies of the Chorus). The film also showcases a pair of rising talents. Clayton would go on to Broadway stardom in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, and then play Tommy Rettig's mother on Lassie. Although he had a small part in Gone With the Wind (1939) as one of the Tarleton Twins, Reeves would be better known as Superman on the popular syndicated television series. By Frank Miller

Quotes

Trivia

The play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 1 January 1934 and ran for 154 performances. In the opening night cast were 'Guy D'Ennery' , George Lessey, 'J. C. Nugent' and Elisabeth Risdon

Notes

Film editor Frank Magee's surname is misspelled "McGee" in the onscreen credits. Warner Bros. made an earlier adaptation of the Sophie Kerr Underwood and Anna Richardson play in 1934, under the title Big Hearted Herbert.