Everybody's Old Man


1h 22m 1936

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 20, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Adopted Father" by Edgar Franklin in All-Story Weekly (22 Jan--19 Feb 1916).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Film Length
7,650ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

Canned food tycoon William Franklin is irritated when his well-meaning sister Susan pleads with him to take a vacation. The workaholic William refuses and goes to a meeting, where he berates his salesmen for letting their chief competitor, Tom Sampson, outsell them in Detroit. Just then, William's office manager, Finney, brings him news of Sampson's sudden death. William is devastated, for although he and Sampson were bitter competitors, they were also lifelong friends who began their careers together and courted the same girl many years earlier. Depressed, William becomes aware of his own advancing age, and agrees to retire and let his cocky nephew Ronald take control of the business. William and Susan embark on an around-the-world trip, and when they reach Paris six months later, the homesick William is glad to meet American cab driver Mike Murphy, who takes him to a posh nightclub. There William sees Cynthia and Tommy Sampson, the dissolute children of his former rival. William quickly deduces that the spoiled pair are spending all of their father's money on constant partying and resolves to help them. He introduces himself as George Spelvin and makes friends with them. When he returns home, William is annoyed by Ronald's conceit and decides that it is time for the old dog to show the young pup a thing or two about business. William goes to the Sampson factory in Chicago, where he meets manager Fred Gillespie. It becomes obvious to William that Gillespie is deliberately ruining the factory in order to buy it cheap from Cynthia and Tommy. William finds the youngsters, who complain about the parsimony of their legal guardian, Judge Larson. William then arranges with Larson to become the Sampsons' guardian in order to whip them into shape. The kids, believing that William will be a pushover, are happy with the arrangement and commence partying. William lets them have one party, but the next morning tells them that they must stop drinking, work hard and learn to have respect for their family name. The youngsters are shaken up, but being good at heart, they realize that William is right. Tommy begins work at the factory, while William sends Cynthia to spy on Ronald. William's plan works well as the Sampsons knuckle down, and soon the Sampson factory is outproducing the Franklin factory. Ronald is in despair and confides in Cynthia, whom he knows as Mary Travis, that there must be a spy in his factory. He asks Cynthia to spy on the Sampsons, and Cynthia, who has fallen in love with Ronald, returns home in anguish over having betrayed him. Ronald then goes to Tommy and proposes a merger to end their cut-throat rivalry. Tommy calls William to discuss the merger, but William refuses to consider it until Cynthia reprimands him for trying to destroy Ronald. William relents and sees Ronald, who is astonished to learn that his competitor is his own uncle. Cynthia and Tommy are also amazed to learn William's true identity, but all ends well as they agree to merge the companies, and Cynthia and Ronald decide to merge the families.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 20, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Adopted Father" by Edgar Franklin in All-Story Weekly (22 Jan--19 Feb 1916).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Film Length
7,650ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, this film was originally intended to be a starring vehicle for Will Rogers, and Michael Whalen was considered for the part of "Tommy Sampson." According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Ross Alexander was signed for "a leading part." Hollywood Reporter production charts suggest that Alexander was replaced by Norman Foster, although no confirmation of this has been found. Hollywood Reporter production charts also include the following as cast members: Maurine Marseilles, Leonie Pray, Jacques Vanaire and Max Barwyn. Their participation in the finished film has not been confirmed, however. Although Irvin S. Cobb, noted writer, humorist and actor, had appeared in other films, this was his first and only starring role in a feature. Edgar Franklin's story was first filmed by Warner Bros. in 1933 as The Working Man (see below).