Paddy the Next Best Thing


1h 15m 1933

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 1, 1933
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Aug 1933
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Paddy-the-Next-Best-Thing by Gertrude Page (London, 1916).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,200ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Wealthy Lawrence Blake, sailing from Ceylon to a village in Ireland, rescues Paddy Adair, a mischievous tomboy who purposely capsizes her sailboat, and learns that she is the sister of the woman he intends to marry, Eileen, whom he met in England. Eileen loves Jack Breen, but because her father, Major Robert Adair, faces foreclosure within a month and has promised his creditor that Lawrence will pay his debt, she agrees to marry Lawrence. Paddy, who, like her father, likes to tell a tall story, tries to break the engagement by telling Lawrence that Eileen has not been well mentally for the past two years and has tried to commit suicide, but he recognizes her lack of veracity, and when he questions Eileen, they agree that although she is not in love, they will gamble that they will fall in love after they marry. Paddy then tries to interest Lawrence in herself. After she wagers that he cannot put his lips as close as can be to hers without kissing her, he is unable to resist her, and their kiss is mutually enjoyable. At the dance at which the engagement is to be announced, Lawrence learns of Eileen and Jack's romance and says that they should marry. Eileen, who has now fallen in love with Lawrence, thinks that Paddy has stolen him from her and vows never to speak to her again. The major is mortally injured riding his favorite mare, and after his death, the family's belongings are auctioned. Lawrence, who has now fallen in love with Paddy, offers to help with money, but she pridefully refuses and leaves to live and work with her uncle, Dr. David Adair, in Dublin. A year later, Lawrence locates David's pharmacy, despite Paddy's efforts to keep him from finding it. David, who is sympathetic to Lawrence's desire to marry Paddy, explains that Paddy developed hatred and guilt for him because of Eileen's hostility to her. Lawrence proposes to Paddy, but she forces herself to be cold to him and says she hates him. Lawrence then arranges a plan with David to win Paddy. To revive Eileen's interest in Jack, Lawrence tells her that Paddy is going to marry Jack. Eileen then vows that they will never marry and returns to their village. David arranges for Paddy to travel to the village for Christmas without having any breakfast and with no money. On the train, she finds Lawrence in her compartment. She avoids him and refuses his offer of food, but as they wait for a number of hours during a washout, she surreptitiously sneaks some of his food as he sleeps. At the village, Paddy hugs her sister when she learns that she and Jack have married. During the Christmas ball at the old house, Paddy is presented with the deed to the house as a gift. When she learns that Lawrence bought the house for her, she withdraws from him, but then confesses that she hated him because she really loved him, and they are united with a kiss.

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 1, 1933
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Aug 1933
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Paddy-the-Next-Best-Thing by Gertrude Page (London, 1916).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,200ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film was copyrighted under the title Paddy, the Next Best Thing. A play by W. Gayer Mackay and Robert Ord [pseudonym of Edith Gayer Mackay], which was based on the novel opened in London on April 5, 1920; a copy of the play is included in the file for the film in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. According to news items and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department also at UCLA, some scenes from this film were shot in Monterey and at Point Lobos State Park, both in California. Janet Gaynor and Warner Baxter co-starred in Fox's 1931 film Daddy Long Legs. The Irish singer Mary McCormic is listed as playing herself in most reviews; however, information in the legal records states that her scenes would not be in the film when it was generally released. The legal records also indicate that Walter Walker and Reginald Mason were both cast for the role of Major Adair. According to news items, Paramount declined to loan William Harrigan for the film because they needed him for their own productions, and Una O'Connor was at one time scheduled to play a featured role. In 1923, a British film entitled Paddy-the-Next-Best-Thing, based on the novel and the play, was made by Graham-Wilcox; it was directed by Graham Cutts and starred Mae Marsh. According to news items and information in the legal records, Twentieth Century-Fox considered remaking the film in 1947 for Peggy Cummins and assigned a number of writers to the project, but that film was never produced.