Convicts at Large


57m 1938

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 15, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
William N. Selig
Distribution Company
Principal Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m

Synopsis

David Brent, a well-spoken young architect who is troubled by the problems facing modern society, dreams of starting a housing development called "Happy Homes, Inc." Though David's boss wants him to keep his mind on foundations, David can't stop thinking about the happy, calm dwellings that will enable families to cope with the stress of modern life. One evening, after listening to a radio program featuring singer Ruth Porter, with whom David has secretly fallen in love, David goes for a walk to escape the bickering of his sister Hattie and her husband Mortimer. While practicing a speech which he hopes someday to give about "Happy Homes," David is accosted by escaped convict Ronald Stanton. Stanton, known as "Squire" because he is a cultured jewel thief, abandons his prison clothes and takes David's. Meanwhile, nightclub owner Steve Moran, who has heard the reports of the escape on the radio, has his men, Buggsie and Gus, go looking for Squire to give him a change of clothes. Moran, who has never seen Squire, had previously arranged to meet him in order to fence some of Squire's stolen merchandise. As the underwear-clad David wanders toward the highway, a car speeds by and Buggsie throws a suit of clothes at him, thinking he is Squire, then quickly drives off to elude a police car in close pursuit. Wearing the new clothes, which have a large wad of money in the pocket, David leaves the park and soon arrives at Moran's nightclub. Discovering that it is the same nightclub in which Ruth sings, David decides to go in. After he listens rapturously to Ruth's performance, David invites her to his table and regals her with his views about family life and "Happy Homes." Ruth, who had just given her notice to Steve that evening, falls equally in love with David and finds his views fascinating. David pays for a sandwich with the money in his pocket and the waiter immediately takes it to Moran, who recognizes it as a counterfeit bill intended for Squire. Convinced that David is Squire, Moran sends for him, but not before David has had time to tell Ruth what had happened to him. When Ruth and David are brought before him, Moran thinks that Ruth is also after the jewels and tries to get David to tell him where they are. Frustrated by David's seeming pretense of ignorance, Moran demands to hear "the whole story" and is non plused when David delivers his "Happy Homes" speech. Only Ruth realizes that their lives are in jeopardy, and she lets David know that he has to play along with Moran. David then draws what is supposed to be the hiding place, but has to stop when the real Squire shows up at the club. After identities are sorted out, Moran's men go with Squire and David and Ruth to the abandoned cabin where Squire has hidden the jewels. While David and Ruth struggle to untie themselves, the others dig for the jewels and plan to kill their prisoners later. Unknown to the others, David and Ruth manage to free themselves and, just as the police spot Buggsie's car and enter the cabin, David slugs Squire and grabs the jewels. The police think that David and Ruth are also crooks and take all of them to jail, where David proposes to Ruth. Hattie soon arrives and clears David, who in turn clears Ruth. As they pass the befuddled Buggsie's cell on the way out, he decides that when he gets out of jail he wants take elocution lessons to talk like David.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 15, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
William N. Selig
Distribution Company
Principal Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although there is a copyright statement on the opening title card of this film, it is not included among copyright records. Film Daily erroneously lists the author of the original story as Ambrose Parlsen. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter on October 8, 1938, producer Myron G. Nast had just closed a deal for world-wide distribution of the picture with Fred McConnell of Record Pictures. No reviews or release charts list Record Pictures, however.