The Higgins Family


1h 5m 1938

Film Details

Also Known As
Everything Happens to Us
Release Date
Aug 29, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
5,754ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Advertising agency president George W. Bradshaw reluctantly leaves Joe Higgins in charge of the big Associated Foods account while he is on vacation. Bradshaw introduces Joe to the company's owner, Ollie Thornwald, and Joe takes Thornwald home for dinner. Unfortunately, Joe's wife Lillian did not receive the telegram he sent about Thornwald's visit. Consequently, Thornwald arrives in the midst of the usual Higgins family chaos, as Lil rehearses her theater group, son Sidney tinkers with household gadgets, daughter Marian pines for her fiancé, Eddie Davis, and Grandpa William Jordan comments on everyone's activities. During the tension-filled dinner Lil disparages Thornwald's company's products but the next morning, discusses with Joe her idea for Associated Foods to sponsor a radio show about the American housewife. Joe presents the idea to Thornwald, who is delighted. As they talk, Joe turns on the radio and is horrified to hear Lil, in a man-on-the-street type of interview, giving the speech about the American housewife that he had written that morning. To Joe's relief, Thornwald is pleased with Lil's persuasiveness and requests her for the program. Before Joe can find Lil, however, she is hired by the rival Home Products company to perform on their radio show. Thornwald is furious and Joe despairs, but Lil assures him that somehow she will break her contract somehow. Later, during her first broadcast, Lil keeps her promise by declaring that Associated Foods is superior to Home Products. Joe is happy, believing his job is saved, but is fired nonetheless, as Bradshaw must pay Home Products ten thousand dollars to avoid a lawsuit over Lil's actions. While Joe and Sidney commiserate with Eddie, who is upset about Marian being wooed by Reynard, a Hollywood director, a women's group offers Lil a new radio show in which she is to evaluate household products. Lil accepts the job, after which Joe returns and tells her that Sidney, Eddie and he are starting their own business. Shortly after, the men open their advertising agency, and clients flock to their office-warming party. Unfortunately, it is also the first day of Lil's show, and after she has finished condemning certain products, all of which are made by Joe's clients, Joe's office empties. The men go to the Higgins' home, where Eddie and Marian fight about her film career, and Joe and Lil fight about her broadcast. Joe packs and tells Lil he is leaving, after which the couple files for divorce. During the trial, it becomes obvious that they still love each other, but their pride forces them apart. Meanwhile, the young people squabble, and Marian sends a telegram to Lil in the courtroom saying that she is taking the afternoon train to Hollywood. The Higginses make a mad dash to the train station, during which Joe and Lil forgive each other. The family reaches the station just as the train is pulling out, but Marian and Eddie shout at them that the telegram was a ploy to reunite Joe and Lil, and that they have just gotten married. All ends well as Marian and Eddie leave on their honeymoon, and Lil and Joe share a kiss.

Film Details

Also Known As
Everything Happens to Us
Release Date
Aug 29, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
5,754ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although William Bakewell's character is called Eddie Evans in reviews, in the film he is called Eddie Davis. Most sources, including copyright records, list Sol C. Siegel as sole Associate Producer, however, Hollywood Reporter lists only James Gleason, both on production charts and in its review of the film. Everything Happens to Us was the working title of this picture, which initiated Republic's Higgins Family series. Although Variety mentioned in its review that Republic decided to turn the picture into the first of a series only after its completion, a news item in Hollywood Reporter on July 11, 1938 noted that the first of the new Higgins Family series was starting production that day. James and Lucile Gleason were married and Russell Gleason was their son. The Gleasons starred in seven of the nine Higgins Family pictures, the last of which was Petticoat Politics in 1941. Various other cast members were changed throughout the series. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index.