The Big Shot


59m 1931

Brief Synopsis

Swindlers dupe a young go-getter into buying swamp land, then discover it's actually worth a fortune.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Dec 18, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Pathé Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Pathé Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Sure that his latest get-rich-quick scheme--puncture-proof tires--will be a success, hotel clerk Ray Smith borrows his employer's bus to conduct a public demonstration in downtown Pottsville. As his girl friend, Doris Thompson, and the rest of the town watches, Ray drives his new tires over bits of shattered glass and is shocked when the tires explode and cause him to crash. Humiliated but still determined, Ray, who has resigned from his hotel job, heads for the Thompson house with plans for yet another scheme. While Ray visits with Doris, her mother Isabel and her uncle Ira, Jack Spencer, a real estate broker who is infatuated with Doris, shows up at the door. Ray and Jack argue over Doris, who finally goes for ice cream with Jack. During Jack's absence, Ray discusses his new plan with Ira and Isabel and then pitches his idea to Mr. Hartman, the town banker. Dubious of Ray's scheme, which involves the purchase of an automobile camp that Jack's company has been trying to unload, Hartman refuses to lend him any money. Isabel, however, mortgages her house and lends Ray the $1,600 he needs to buy the camp. When Ray arrives at the Blue Bird Auto Camp, he is dismayed to discover that it is located next to a foul-smelling swamp and is completely run-down. Except for the misogynistic Old Timer, who has lived in one of camp's cabins for years, Ray's only customer is Fay Turner, a flirtatious moll on the run. Touched by Ray's predicament, which has been worsened by an unexpected visit by Doris and Jack, Fay gives him $250 as an advance on her cabin and tells him to pursue Doris more ardently. Thus advised, Ray drives into Pottsville and, after pleading his case to Doris, confronts Jack during the annual strawberry festival dance. Although Ray bests Jack in a messy fight, Jack avenges himself by sending Dr. "Doc" Teasley to the camp to inspect for health violations. After advising Ray that the camp will be shut down in thirty days unless the swamp is filled in, Doc takes a sample of the water and returns to town to analyze it. To Doc's surprise, the sample reveals that the swamp is actually a warm water sulphur spring. When Doc reveals his findings to Hartman and Jack, Jack suggests that they not tell Ray about the sulphur and buy back the now valuable land. Before Jack acts on his scheme, however, Doris, who has overheard the entire conversation, takes off in her car to warn Ray. Jack then follows Doris, and a frantic race to the camp ensues. As the two cars approach the camp, they crash into each other, and Doris' car ends up in the swamp. With help from Old Timer, Doc and Hartman, Ray rescues Doris seconds before her car is sucked into the swamp. Later, Ray and Doris broadcast a radio show from their now popular and swank health resort, the Blue Bird Sulphur Springs.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Dec 18, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Pathé Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Pathé Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

RKO borrowed Maureen O'Sullivan from Fox for this production. A Film Daily news item adds Phyllis Fraser to the cast, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. RKO's 1937 film, The Big Shot, is not a remake of this story.