False Pretenses


1h 6m 1935

Film Details

Also Known As
Synthetic Lady
Release Date
Oct 22, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Mary Beekman, a waitress with higher aspirations, is fired from her job after her jilted boyfriend, truck driver Mike O'Reilly, instigates a brawl at the restaurant where she works. Later that evening, on a bridge, Mary meets millionaire Kenneth Alden, who has just lost his entire fortune, and each suspects the other of having been on the verge of jumping. Ken invites Mary to his mansion for a nightcap and Mary subsequently devises a business scheme which will garner her a rich husband and get Ken back on his feet financially. Using his business and social connections, Ken raises the necessary funds for an expensive new wardrobe for Mary and for private lessons in deportment, charm and etiquette by telling his associates that they are investing in a newly invented beauty preparation. Once Mary's make-over is complete, she arrives with Miss Milgrim, her chaperon, at the Hotel Clifton, a swank seaside resort. There she pretends to bump into Ken, who tells his friends that she is the daughter of an old acquaintance. Inventing a convent background to explain Mary's lack of knowledge of the social scene, Ken introduces her to young millionaire Tiffany Cortland, who is never seen without a drink in his hand, to hotel guest Pat Brennan, and to the wealthy Clarissa Stanhope, who is in love with Ken and desperate to marry him. Pat takes an immediate interest in Mary, and although Ken is at first suspicious of him, Tiffy informs him that Pat is very rich and has a large yacht moored in the harbor. That evening, Pat throws a party in Mary's honor on the yacht, and the drunken Tiffy makes advances to Mary, while Ken busies himself selling more shares in his "beauty preparation" business. Later, Clarissa, jealous of Ken's seeming interest in Mary, becomes suspicious when Mary, supposedly educated in a convent, reveals that she doesn't know a word of latin. The next day at the pool, Mary confides to Ken that she is in love with Pat, although she senses that Tiffy, who is known to be worth ten million dollars, is going to propose to her. Ken suggests staging a fake drowning episode in which Pat will rescue Mary, realizing at last his undying love for her. The plan is foiled, however, when Pat is knocked out by the life preserver that Ken throws into the pool, and Tiffy beats him to the flailing Mary. Tiffy proposes marriage, but Mary stalls in order to give Pat one more chance to declare his intentions. In the meantime, Clarissa, driving her car into town, has a minor accident with Mike O'Reilly, who gives her a lift back to the hotel and explains that he was driving recklessly because his girl friend had just dumped him. Clarissa soon realizes that Mike's ex-sweetheart is none other than Mary, and she gleefully tells him where he can find her. Mike and Clarissa appear on the front lawn of the hotel just as Pat is about to propose to Mary. Mike then exposes Mary as a "hash slinger," and identifies Pat as the bootlegger for whom he was once employed. Pat then assumes that Mary is being kept by Ken, and Mary flees the hotel, sharing a cab with Bleven, Pat's valet and an admitted kleptomaniac. When the cab is pulled over by the police because Bleven has stolen a diamond tiara from one of the hotel's guests, Mary is arrested as his accomplice. Ken succeeds in getting the distraught Mary out of jail, and, back in the city, a remorseful Clarissa, anxious to see Mary and Pat reunited, encourages Ken to set Pat straight. Ken convinces Pat of Mary's decency, proposes to Clarissa, and then assembles a meeting of his investors, during which he explains that he borrowed their money under "false pretenses," for the product was not a beauty preparation, but rather the preparation of a beauty, Mary Beekman. Pat then appears with his arms around Mary and passes out checks to each of the investors, announcing that he is buying them out because, as Mary's future husband, he will be the sole stockholder in the corporation.

Film Details

Also Known As
Synthetic Lady
Release Date
Oct 22, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was Synthetic Lady. The plot synopsis was taken from a dialogue continuity deposited at the NYSA.