45 Fathers


1h 10m 1937

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 26, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,450ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

On an ocean liner leaving West Africa for New York, Flo and Joe McCoy, whose magic and ventriloquist act has recently bombed in England, France, China and India, overhear a girl sobbing in the next compartment. When they find ten-year-old Judith Frazier crying because her father, a hunter, recently died, they distract her with their tricks. At the pier in New York, Judy worries that she will not be able to get Gertrude, her pet monkey, ashore. After Judy and Gertrude create havoc with the officials, Gertrude, chased by a pack of dogs, and Judy enter the Spear and Gun Club, of which her father was a member, and disrupt the proceedings. When matters calm, the forty-five members draw lots to see who will adopt Judy and give her a home. This duty to Judy's father, which now that the members have met the rambunctious girl is thought to be of questionable nature, is won by Bunny Carothers, who has kept from his fellow members the fact that he is not wealthy and that the house in Connecticut in which he lives belongs to his nephew, Roger Farragut, a multi-millionaire real estate operator. When Roger learns about the arrangement, he says that adopting Judy is out of the question, but when he sees that Judy is set to leave after having been hurt by the laughter of his neighbor, Elizabeth Carter, Roger insists that Judy stay. After Gertrude entraps the housekeeper's cat "Sweetsy-Pie" inside a piano, the housekeeper and the butler give notice, but Judy talks Roger into hiring Flo and Joe. When Elizabeth apologizes to Judy and gives her a doll that she says her deceased father gave her, Judy spies a reduced price tag on it and remains cold to her. After Judy overhears talk of Elizabeth's plan to "hook" Roger to get his money, she spreads a rumor that Bunny really controls the fortune and that he is planning to cut off Roger's allowance. When Roger next visits the Carter home, Elizabeth's mother refuses to allow him to enter. The Carters then learn about Judy's plot, and Elizabeth reconciles with Roger and convinces him to sail with her to Europe and marry her on the ship. Judy then switches the automobile registrations in Roger's and the Carters' cars, and after Roger leaves for the city to meet Elizabeth on the boat, Judy calls the police and, imitating Mrs. Carter voice, says that her car has been stolen. Roger is stopped by the police, and when he shows his passport, he finds Joe's photograph in the place of his own. After a night in jail, Roger returns and learns of Judy's trick, whereupon he fires the McCoys and tells Bunny to make arrangements for Judy to live somewhere else. Roger then goes to the Carter home, where he overhears Elizabeth, who left the ship in a pilot boat after Roger did not arrive, and her mother consulting with an attorney about a breach of promise suit they plan to instigate against him. Roger returns to his home to apologize to Judy, but learns, to his dismay, that she has left. After Judy, Joe and Flo read in the newspaper about Elizabeth's $250,000 suit against Roger, they enter the courtroom in disguise, and Joe and Flo throw their voices to disrupt the trial and to get the Carters to admit their plan. Roger is reunited with Judy, and the judge dismisses the case.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 26, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,450ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Edith Sparks, who collaborated with Mary Bickel on the original, unpublished story, agreed not to receive screen or publicity credit. According to a July 9, 1937 Hollywood Reporter news item, Malcolm St. Clair was originally assigned to direct. This was the first film of nightclub performers Paul and Grace Hartman, who were known, according to New York Times, for their "burlesque adagio routine." Variety commented that the Hartmans' ventriloquist act involved a dummy "that somewhat resembles the famed Charlie McCarthy of Edgar Bergen. Not so much stress is laid on the dummy itself, but he beats McCarthy to release by getting out ahead of The Goldwyn Follies (UA) [see below], which includes Bergen, although the latter is already well established cinematically via his Vitaphone shorts." New York Times noted that this was the first of Jane Withers' starring films, all of which had been "B" pictures, to move into the "sub-A class, which is the trade's way of indicating that they sell to the exhibitors on a percentage basis." Shirley Deane is listed as a cast member in Hollywood Reporter production charts, but her participation in the final film is doubtful. Billy Wayne is listed as a cast member in a Hollywood Reporter casting news item, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed.