Pepper


1h 35m 1936

Brief Synopsis

Young Pepper Jolly enters the life of sour old millionaire John Wilkes. She convinces him to take her gang to Coney Island and prevents his daughter from marrying a phony aristocrat.

Film Details

Also Known As
Public Nuisance No. 1
Release Date
Sep 11, 1936
Premiere Information
Brooklyn opening: week of 7 Aug 1936
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,800ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

When Pepper Jolly, the leader of a group of neighborhood kids in New York, sees a landlord give Mrs. Donahue, the poor mother of twin babies, until the next day to raise eleven dollars or face eviction, she organizes her followers to get the money. Meanwhile, Pepper's uncle, Ben Jolly, a street cleaner, who has held forty-one city jobs in ten years, witnesses Helen Wilkes, the wealthy daughter of millionaire John Taylor Wilkes, run down a vegetable cart as she speeds in her convertible with her fiancé, Baron Von Stofel. Officer Bob O'Ryan, on horseback, takes Helen and the baron to police headquarters despite her protests that she is to be married the next day. After having raised only $6.22, Pepper and her pals find themselves in front of the Wilkes mansion. When the gardener refuses to allow Pepper to enter, the kids throw tomatoes at Wilkes, who becomes particularly angry at this because he has been forced to eat tomatoes as part of a strict diet. Later, Pepper sneaks into Wilkes's sitting room and threatens to hit him again with a tomato unless he listens to her story about Mrs. Donahue. He acquiesces and offers her twenty-five dollars, but she accepts only five. Upon learning that Wilkes is unhappy, Pepper invites him to go with her to Coney Island, and despite his initial reluctance because of his doctor's warnings that he is dying, Wilkes joins her. After riding many rides and eating many hamburgers, Wilkes realizes that he has lost his wallet and cannot pay for the food. Because Pepper acts as if Wilkes is insane and cries obnoxiously, the hamburger stand owner allows them to wash dishes for the food. Meanwhile, Bob catches Helen and the baron speeding again. At night, when Wilkes, whose feet and stomach ache, desires to go home, Pepper puts shoe polish on his glasses as he sleeps and puts his hat in his hand so that when she sings people will think that he is blind and drop coins into his hat. They get enough money for subway fare, and at Wilkes's request, they spend the night at her apartment, where Uncle Ben keeps Wilkes awake with tales of his past. The next day, when Wilkes sees in a newspaper story that his daughter and the baron have spent the night in jail, he hurries home. Uncle Ben recognizes the baron from his picture, but can't remember where he knew him. Wilkes, who does not like the baron, offers $5,000 in cash if Ben can prove that the baron is a fake before the wedding, which is scheduled to occur in three hours. After Pepper draws glasses, a mustache and a beard on the baron's picture, Uncle Ben remembers his real identity, but the baron and his brothers then kidnap Uncle Ben and Pepper. Pepper bites the chauffeur and escapes. As the wedding is to begin, the guards at the mansion refuse to allow Pepper to enter, so she gathers hundreds of children throughout the city to converge upon the wedding. Meanwhile, Uncle Ben revives and locates Bob, who rides with him on his horse to the mansion. The children burst through the gates as the wedding takes place, and in the riot that ensues, the baron's brothers are chased out. When Uncle Ben identifies the baron as a union treasurer who absconded with burial funds, Helen faints in Bob's arms. Wilkes, who has been enjoying the riot, then asks Pepper what she is going to do with the $5,000, and she tells him she will count it.

Film Details

Also Known As
Public Nuisance No. 1
Release Date
Sep 11, 1936
Premiere Information
Brooklyn opening: week of 7 Aug 1936
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,800ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Public Nuisance No. 1. This title was changed, according to a New York Times news item, because it had already been used as the title of a British film. Don Rowan is listed as an actor in a Hollywood Reporter production chart; it has not been ascertained that he was in the final film.