Many Happy Returns


1h 4m 1934

Brief Synopsis

Gracie Allen (Gracie Allen) assumes the "management" of the shop owned by her papa Horatio Allen (George Barbier), turning it into a radio station and then an aviary---with the usual Gracie Allen logic---while distracted Papa is trying to get younger daughter, beauty contest winner Florence (Joan Marsh), married before she can head to Hollywood and get into the movies. The story moves to Hollywood, where, with Gracie around, kidnappers get kidnapped and the chatter between her and George Burns (George Burns)even takes a few satirized shots at Filmland, in addition to their usual unusual routines. Guy Lombardo, top-billed on the ads and posters with Burns and Allen but not the cast listings, and dance team Frank Veloz and Yolanda, fill in where needed between the cracks of the mostly on-the-fly plot, and they don't seem to be taking their gigs all that seriously either. Burns & Allen Radio fans, the few of us that still remember "Radio", will love it,while others are likely to give it a "say what" or 'duh", especially if they were raised on television comedy of the past 20 years.

Film Details

Also Known As
Often a Bridegroom
Release Date
Jun 8, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Often a Bridegroom" by Lady Mary Cameron (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

When Horatio Allen returns home to New York City from Europe, he finds his Bon Ton Department Store being transformed into a bird sanctuary by his zany daughter Gracie. Horatio's other daughter Florence, meanwhile, has won the "Mystery Girl" beauty contest and a motion picture contract, but Horatio forbids her to go to Hollywood. Gracie intervenes and tears up a contract that bandleader Guy Lombardo has with Horatio's radio station so Guy can appear in Florence's movie. To stop Gracie's incessant meddling, Horatio has her psychoanalyzed, and the doctor prescribes marriage to radio announcer George Burns as medicine. Bon Ton Radio's "Masked Tenor," Ted Lambert, then asks Horatio for Florence's hand in marriage, and Horatio fires him, then bribes George into marrying Gracie by offering ten dollars for each mile they travel on their honeymoon. Gracie and George marry and board a train to the West coast. At the depot, Ted is offered a role opposite Florence in the film, and he and Florence board Gracie's and George's train. While George counts miles in a separate berth from Gracie, Horatio hires two thugs in New York to retrieve Florence and Ted. At the Pasadena depot, the thugs abduct Florence and Ted, and when the train arrives in Hollywood, Gracie and George are hired as the "Mystery Girl" and the "Masked Tenor." Filming begins for the musical murder mystery Murder While the Band Plays , but Gracie ad libs her lines so terribly the producer decides to make her the murder victim instead of the heroine. When Gracie learns of Florence's kidnapping, she offers George's mileage money as ransom for Florence's return. After Florence and Ted are delivered in New York, the thugs arrive at Gracie's to collect the money, and she forces them to confess that Horatio hired them. Gracie gets her father to pay her the $30,000 she had to pay the thugs, and George demands thirty dollars-a-mile to continue his honeymoon with Gracie to Japan.

Film Details

Also Known As
Often a Bridegroom
Release Date
Jun 8, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Often a Bridegroom" by Lady Mary Cameron (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Screen Achievements Bulletin and copyright records claim this film was adapted from Lady Mary Cameron's novel My Dayton, Darling (New York, 1933), although Motion Picture Herald lists the source as her story "Often a Bridegroom," which was the film's working title. Motion Picture Herald lists the film as a box-office "champion" of June 1934. Motion Picture Herald lists Jack Mulhall in the role of "Otto," but this is probably a mistake as Egon Brecher played the part of Dr. Otto von Strudel and was not listed in the Motion Picture Herald cast. Motion Picture Herald also erroneously lists John Arthur's character as "Davis." The Hollywood Reporter review states that at the Pomona, CA preview on April 19, 1934, the audience burst into applause at the sight of George Burns's and Gracie Allen's names, "a rare demonstration there."