The Mad Martindales


1h 5m 1942

Film Details

Also Known As
Not for Children
Release Date
May 15, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Not for Children by Wesley Towner (Connecticut, 24 Jul 1939), which was based on the play Das ist nichts feur Kinder by Ludwig Hirschfeld and Dr. Edmund Wolf (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
5,824ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

In San Francisco in 1900, sisters Kathy and Evelyn Martindale prepare for the birthday of their eccentric, architect father Hugo. While awaiting Hugo's arrival, the flighty Evelyn accepts a long-distance marriage proposal from rich Peter Varney and Kathy writes her finishing school graduation speech. When Hugo comes home, he brings with him a painting called "Lady and the Unicorn." Kathy and Evelyn are dismayed by his expensive purchase, for their house is filled with over-priced antiques and unpaid bills. Hugo assures Kathy that once he finds a backer for his bungalow development project, he will be able to pay off their debts. The next day, Hugo leaves for a vacation in Del Monte, which is also the destination of Evelyn, who wishes to elope with an Italian musician named Julio Rigo, rather than marry Peter. Kathy, who has discovered that $2,500 must immediately be paid on their mortgage, enlists her friend, Robert Bruce Turner, to help her sell the household's contents. Kathy and Bobby get the money from antique dealers Chang and Jefferson Gow, who buy Hugo's new painting as well. In order to make herself look older, Kathy wears one of Evelyn's frocks when Virgil Hickling, the mortgage company's lawyer, arrives to collect the payment. Arriving at the same time is Peter, who tends to Kathy when she faints after Hickling demands payment on an $8,000 mortgage on all of the household goods. Meanwhile, at Del Monte, Evelyn has discovered that Julio is a fortune hunter, and Hugo has met noted Dutch antiquarian Jan Van der Venne. Hugo persuades Van der Venne to back his bungalow project in exchange for the painting, and to celebrate, they get drunk in the hotel bar. Back at the Martindale home, Peter tells Kathy that they can borrow the money from his father that evening. Peter's father is not home, but his cranky grandmother, who mistakes Kathy for Peter's fiancée, is charmed by her fortitude and promises to give her the money. Bobby sees Peter give Kathy an innocent, celebratory kiss, and whisks her away before she can receive Grandmother Varney's check. The next morning, Evelyn returns home, and Kathy, who has fallen in love with Peter, is heartbroken when, in his eagerness to greet Evelyn, he does not even remember their kiss. Peter is infuriated when Julio arrives, however, and announces that he will marry Evelyn because her father is now rich due to his new partner. After Peter storms out, Hugo and Van der Venne arrive, and are closely followed by Hickling, who comes with a policeman to arrest Hugo for non-payment. Van der Venne leaves in a huff upon learning the fate of the painting, but Hugo is saved from jail when Peter returns with Grandmother Varney. She is the marjority stockholder in the mortgage company and orders Hickling to leave Hugo alone, then agrees to back Hugo's bungalow project. While Evelyn is accepting a proposal from yet another beau, Grandmother orders Hugo to build a house as a wedding present for Peter and Kathy. Grandmother's selection of Kathy is sustained when Peter realizes that he has fallen in love with her.

Film Details

Also Known As
Not for Children
Release Date
May 15, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Not for Children by Wesley Towner (Connecticut, 24 Jul 1939), which was based on the play Das ist nichts feur Kinder by Ludwig Hirschfeld and Dr. Edmund Wolf (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
5,824ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Not for Children. Wesley Towner's play, which was based on the German-language play written by Ludwig Hirschfeld and Dr. Edmund Wolf, opened on Broadway on March 23, 1940 under the title A Case of Youth. A July 31, 1939 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Universal and M-G-M were both bidding for the film rights to Hirschfeld and Wolf's play, which they intended as a starring vehicle for Deanna Durbin and Judy Garland, respectively. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, Erskine Sanford was originally signed for the part of "Virgil Hickling." Although studio publicity stated that Byron Barr, who was borrowed from Warner Bros. for the production and later changed his name to Gig Young, made his screen debut in The Mad Martindales, he had already appeared in a number of pictures. Jimmy Lydon was borrowed from Paramount for the production. The Mad Martindales was the twentieth-ninth and final film Jane Withers made for Twentieth Century-Fox, where she had been under contract for seven years.