Mr. Boggs Steps Out


1h 1m 1938

Brief Synopsis

Oliver Boggs (Stuart Erwin), a typical office drone, with no success in sight, who can spout statistics about anything and everything, wins $1500 in a bean-guessing contest at the movie theatre, quits his job and sets forth for the seedy, down-at-the-heels town of Peckham Falls. There he buys a barrel factory and falls in love with Irene Lee (Toby Wing), the snobbish niece of crusty old Morton Ross (Tully Marshall), the town's only rich man and owner of the closed canneries. Oleander Tubbs (Helen Chandler) and her inventor father Angus (Spencer Charters), who sold Oliver the factory, tell him it has no future but he disagrees and says he will have everything booming again. Oleander thinks he is daffy but she and her father agree to help him. Angus invents a collapsible barrel and Oliver, seeing fame and fortune just ahead, spends all of his money just keeping the factory going. Oliver persuades old man Ross to re-open the canneries and to use the ground-breaking barrels and things appear to be going okay, until Dennis Andrews (Walter Byron), Ross' slick attorney, tries to doubel-cross both Ross and Oliver by bilking Angus out of the patent rights to the barrel.

Film Details

Also Known As
Face the Facts, Mr. Boggs Buys a Barrel
Release Date
Feb 18, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Grand National Films, Inc.
Distribution Company
Grand National Films, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the story Face the Facts by Clarence Budington Kelland in American Magazine (Jun--Sep 1936).

Technical Specs

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

Synopsis

Statistics-obsessed researcher Oliver Boggs wins $1,500 in a movie theater contest when he correctly guesses the number of beans in a barrel. Although Oliver is a timid man, his older colleague, Mr. Jenkins, advises him to use the money to quit his job and seek romance and adventure. Oliver's quest takes him to Peckham Falls, a small upstate New York town, in which an idle barrel factory is for sale. Despite the warnings of some of the local citizens about the factory, Oliver buys it for $400 and then convinces the unemployed workers that he will hire them as soon as he convinces local pickle plant owner Morton P. Ross to buy his barrels. Angus Tubbs, the father of Oliver's secretary Oleander, has invented a revolutionary collapsible barrel and Oliver is certain that it will make a fortune. He convinces the men to work for a share of the profits when the orders come in, against the advice of labor agitator Burns. Jenkins is unconvinced of the barrel's merits, however, so Oliver goes on a sales trip throughout the East. Although he fails to get orders, he wires his own remaining money back to the factory, saying that he has. When he returns, the whole town cheers him, but he has to admit his failure. He has an inspiration, however, and convinces Ross that his pickles will stay fresher and tastier in wood than in jars. Meanwhile, Dennis Andrews, who is trying to buy Ross's plant, secretly obtains the rights to Angus' invention by convincing him that Oliver and Ross's niece, Irene Lee, with whom Oliver is smitten, are in love. Fearing that Oleander, who loves Oliver, will be spurned, Angus signs an exclusive agreement with Mason. That night, at a dance given by Ross, however, Oliver arrives just in time to reveal that, while in Washington, he had registered the patent in Oleander's name because of Angus' reputation for eccentricity. As the patent owner, Oleander then says that she will do business with Ross, who announces that the pickle and the barrel factories will be in full operation on Monday. They also discover that a drunken Philadelphia playboy to whom Oliver gave a barrel as a cat carrier, has been marketing it for him to a large chemical business owned by his girl friend's father, thus paving the way for an even bigger success. Finally, Oliver realizes that Irene is not the woman for him, and Oleander informs him that ninety per cent of all married men are run by their wives, something she will soon prove.

Film Details

Also Known As
Face the Facts, Mr. Boggs Buys a Barrel
Release Date
Feb 18, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Grand National Films, Inc.
Distribution Company
Grand National Films, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the story Face the Facts by Clarence Budington Kelland in American Magazine (Jun--Sep 1936).

Technical Specs

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

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of the film were Face the Facts and Mr. Boggs Buys a Barrel. According to a news item in Film Daily, the picture was scheduled to begin on June 2, 1937, with Richard Rowland as the producer. Filming was delayed, however, until early September 1937, at which time Ben Pivar became the producer. A Hollywood Reporter news item on August 3, 1937 noted that Ewing Scott was originally set to direct the picture, but knee surgery forced him to give up the job. The item also indicated that Scott was working on the script, but his participation in the completed film has not been determined. In its review of the film, Hollywood Reporter mistakenly identified Harold Lewis as the musical director instead of the production manager.