Marriage on Approval
Cast & Crew
Although eighteen-year-old Elizabeth MacDougal has promised her puritanical father, Reverend John MacDougal that she will not marry until she is twenty-two, Beth falls love with classmate Larry Bennett, who has been offered a job out of town and wants her to come with him. Larry talks Beth into joining their friends, Billy McGee and Hortense Bailey, for a "snort and snack" at an inn, and Beth agrees to marry Larry while extremely intoxicated. The inn is raided and Beth escapes, but Deacon Kilhail, from her church, sees her. Still very drunk, Beth and Larry are married by a justice of the peace. She awakens later in Billy's car, remembering nothing after the raid, and then sneaks into her bedroom. On Sunday, after the reverend in his sermon castigates "the youth of today," Deacon Kilhail reveals that he saw Beth and Larry at the inn. When the reverend berates Beth, she accuses him of always lacking kindness and understanding and, to shock him, because he already thinks the worst of her, tells him that she is leaving to be with "her lover." Although Beth, still unaware of her marriage, refuses to marry Larry because of her promise to her father, they go to the city and get a room in a boardinghouse as a married couple. Larry, who remembers the marriage ceremony, hides the relationship from his colleagues at the advertising firm where he finds work. Soon Dottie Tait, who works with Larry, tries to seduce him at a party. That night, Beth cries after Larry returns drunk with Dottie's rouge smears on him. Dottie secretly arranges for her and Larry to be sent on a sales trip together and while on the trip, confronts him at night in bedclothes. Larry leaves to return to Beth, but when a call he placed earlier to Beth is put through to his hotel room, Beth is crushed to hear Dottie's voice. She goes drinking with Billy in a cabaret, where she confesses her unhappiness. That night, when Larry arrives and finds Beth drunk, the landlady, Mrs. Walker, listens at the door and hears Beth castigate Larry for not marrying her despite her refusal. The next day, while Larry interrogates Billy, Mrs. Walker tells Beth she must leave. Finding her gone, Larry goes to her home and, as Beth overhears, confronts her father. When the reverend learns that they are married, he apologizes to Beth. In his next sermon, he preaches that the youth of today, with a frank, clearer vision, cannot be stamped with an old worn-out pattern; that no one can break down the power of love; and that no boy and girl can break down the power of marriage.
The print viewed contained credits only for title, production company and cast. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the novel had been syndicated by thirty newspapers before it was published in book form. Although the character played by Clarence Geldert was listed as "Duncan Kilhail" in the screen credits, dialogue in the film repeatedly referred to him as "Deacon Kilhail."