Let's Be Ritzy


1h 12m 1934

Film Details

Also Known As
If I Was Rich
Release Date
Mar 26, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play If I Was Rich by William Anthony McGuire (New York, 2 Sep 1926).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

New York shipping clerk Jimmy Sterling is discouraged about his marriage because his extravagant wife Ruth prefers her job as a stenographer to keeping house and rearing children. When R. M. Pembrook, Jimmy and Ruth's supposedly rich landlord, demands back rent, Jimmy pleads for more time and asks Pembrook to come back that night. Before Pembrook is to arrive, Jimmy's friend, radio personality Bill Damroy, and Bill's fiancée, Betty Olsen, drop by Jimmy's one-room apartment. Bill suggests to Jimmy that when Pembrook returns, he should try to impress him with talk of stock and bond holdings. Although skeptical, Jimmy attempts Bill's tactic, making "big money" propositions to an unseen listener, whom he assumes is Pembrook, while shaving in another room. Instead of Pembrook, however, Jimmy is plying his deception on John Splevin, his misanthropic employer, who announces that, because Jimmy apparently has so much money, he won't be getting a raise. When Pembrook finally arrives, Bill leads him to believe that Jimmy is the son of a wealthy South American rubber magnate and is living in poverty only because he is determined to make his own way. Impressed, Pembrook, who is himself broke and in need of a loan, invites Jimmy and Ruth to his summer home for a weekend party. Claiming that she has to work all weekend, Ruth declines the invitation and suggests that Jimmy take Bill and Betty with him. At that moment, Jimmy notices that Ruth is wearing a new, expensive-looking bracelet but is assured by his wife that the jewels are imitations. During the party, Pembrook asks Jimmy to become his business partner and then takes him to a quiet spot to talk. There, Jimmy sees Ruth with her boss, wealthy lawyer George Hildreth. After Ruth makes a feeble attempt to explain herself, the lights go out and a scream is heard. Detectives with flashlights then step in and begin searching for a "society burglar" who has stolen Ruth's bracelet. While the detectives question guests, Splevin, who has come to close out the bankrupt Pembrook, takes the floor and announces that not only is their host broke, but Jimmy, the heir, is really a thirty- dollar-a-week clerk. The detectives then inform Jimmy that Ruth's bracelet was a gift from Hildreth and is worth thousands. Ruth finally confesses to a mild indiscretion with Hildreth, and an enraged Jimmy screams about her broken promises and begins to pack his bags. Splevin, however, shows up at the house and gives the couple sound advice based on his own failed romantic experiences. After Jimmy and Ruth reconcile, a more confident Jimmy demands more money and responsibility at work. Impressed by Jimmy's newfound spunk, Splevin accedes, departing as the couple embrace.

Film Details

Also Known As
If I Was Rich
Release Date
Mar 26, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play If I Was Rich by William Anthony McGuire (New York, 2 Sep 1926).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was If I Was Rich. Although the viewed print was incomplete and did not include opening credits, actors Lew Ayres to Adrian Morris were listed as above in end credits. According to Universal story files, Francis de Miollis and Robert Wyler wrote a treatment for the production in February 1928. It is not known if any of their work was used in the final film. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, William Demarest and Ted Blair tested for Frank McHugh's role.