Cast & Crew
Raymond B. Mccarey
William Drake Addington V, a young man from a wealthy family, spends most of his time in nightclubs. One night, a drunk Bill listens to rabble-rouser Darby McGraw speak about redistributing the wealth and is so moved that he promises to give away his money and get a job. The next morning, after escaping a mob of people hoping to receive some of his money, Bill escapes in a laundry truck and goes to the Junior Welfare Home, which is sponsored by his grandfather, Colonel William Addington Drake III. Bill tells everyone he is Bill Smith, an unemployed handyman. Most of the children at the home return to their mothers at night, but orphan Dodie is cared for by Carole Martin, who is a teacher. Dodie is suspicious of Bill, believing he is a criminal, and he unwittingly confirms her doubts by tearing his picture from a newspaper article about his disappearance. Meanwhile, the colonel and Bill's bossy fiancée, Millicent Bonham, a steel heiress, pretend to the public that the wedding is proceeding as planned. Dodie then finds an old newspaper photo of Bill, and assuming he is a bigamist, reports his whereabouts to Millicent. Bill has fallen in love with Carole, and when Dodie tells her about Bill's true identity, she cries. Bill returns to his family home, but Dodie, distraught over her error in judgment, leaves Carole a note that she has been kidnapped. Carole goes to the Drake mansion and confronts Millicent. The colonel then tells Millicent that Bill is giving his fortune away, and she stalks out. Bill arrives with the children from the home, and as Dodie and the colonel look through the keyhole, he convinces Carole to marry him.
Raymond B. Mccarey
Walter Anthony Merrill
Katherine Clare Ward
Clarence Badger Jr.
Edward James Flanagan
Marc Lawrence (1910-2005)
Born Max Goldsmith on February 17, 1910, in the Bronx, Lawrence had his heart set on a career in drama right out of high school. He enrolled at City College of New York to study theatre, and in 1930, he worked under famed stage actress Eva Le Gallienne. Anxious for a career in movies, Lawrence moved to Hollywood in 1932 and found work immediately as a contract player with Warner Bros. (an ideal studio for the actor since they specialized in crime dramas). He was cast as a heavy in his first film, If I Had a Million (1932). Although his first few parts were uncredited, Lawrence's roles grew more prominent: a sinister henchman in the Paul Muni vehicle in Dr. Socrates (1935); a conniving convict aiding Pat O'Brien in San Quentin (1937); a menacing thug stalking Dorothy Lamour in Johnny Apollo (1940); the shrewdly observant chauffeur in Alan Ladd's breakthrough hit This Gun For Hire (1942); and one of his most memorable roles as Ziggy, a fedora wearing mobster in the Bogart-Bacall noir classic Key Largo (1948).
Lawrence, when given the opportunity, could play against type: as the prosecuting attorney challenging Tyrone Power in Brigham Young (1940); a noble aristocrat in the Greer Garson-Walter Pidgeon period opus Blossoms in the Dust; and most impressively, as a deaf mute simpleton in the rustic drama The Shepherd of the Hills (both 1941). Better still was Lawrence's skill at comedy, where his deadpan toughness worked terrifically as a straight man against the likes of Joe E. Brown in Beware Spooks (1939); Abbott and Costello in Hit the Ice (1943); Penny Singleton in Life with Blondie (1945); and Bob Hope in My Favorite Spy (1951).
After that, Lawrence's career took a turn downward spin when he was labeled a communist sympathizer during the Hollywood witch hunts of the early '50s. He was exiled in Europe for a spell (1951-59), and when he came back, the film industry turned a blind eye to him, but television overcompensated for that. Here he played effective villains (what else?) in a series of crime caper programs: Peter Gunn, Johnny Staccato, The Untouchables, Richard Diamond, Private Detective; and eventually made a welcome return to the big screen as a returning exiled gangster in William Asher's underrated mob thriller Johnny Cool (1963).
It wasn't long before Lawrence found himself back in the fray playing in some big box-office hits over the next two decades: Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Marathon Man (1976), Foul Play (1978); and The Big Easy (1987). Sure he was cast as a gangster, but nobody could play a rough and tumble mob boss with more style or conviction.
Interestingly, one of his finest performances in recent years was in television, as a severely ill old man unwilling to accept his fate in a fourth season episode of ER (1997-98). His last screen role was just two years ago, as a nimble minded VP in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).
In 1991, Lawrence published a memoir about his venerable career, Long Time No See: Confessions of a Hollywood Gangster that received much critical acclaim. He has also developed a cult following due to his appearances in such offbeat items as From Dusk to Dawn and Pigs aka Daddy's Deadly Darling, the 1972 horror film he directed and starred in with his daughter Toni. He is survived by his wife, Alicia; two children from a previous marriage, Toni and Michael; and a stepdaughter Marina.
by Michael T. Toole