Shantytown


1h 5m 1943

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 20, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play To Helen by Henry Moritz (production undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
5,950ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Tomboy Elizabeth Gorty is playing sandlot baseball with her pals when a ball she hits breaks a car window in nearby Dugan's Garage. Dugan threatens to call the police, but his new mechanic, William Allen, offers to pay for the window. Grateful for Bill's help, Liz invites him to stay at the boardinghouse run by her mother Bessie and stepfather Thaddeus upon learning that he has nowhere to live. Liz is at first disappointed when Bill, on whom she has developed a crush, brings along his delicate wife Virginia, but she soon learns to like Virginia as well. Virginia instructs Liz on how to be more ladylike, and the two become fast friends. Unknown to the Gortys, the Allens are on the run, hiding both from the police and Ace Landers' gang, who duped Bill into transporting stolen cars. Bill is afraid of the revenge that Ace might exact if he talks to the police, and so when Ace and his henchmen, Clarence "Whitey" White and Joe Garson, find Bill, he has no one to turn to. Bill wants to run away again, but Liz's friend, Doc Herndon, warns Bill that due to her pregnancy, Virginia is too fragile to be moved. Ace and the others then force Bill to be the getaway driver in a bank robbery, during which Garson is shot and Ace is captured. Whitey and Bill drive away, but the injured Whitey has a change of heart and pushes Bill out of the car while they are being pursued so that he will not be apprehended. The police capture Whitey after his car crashes into a tree, but because he then goes into a coma, Whitey cannot refute Ace's claim that Bill is the gang's leader. Bill then becomes a fugitive while Virginia's health declines. Convinced that Virginia will die unless Bill returns, Liz decides to send him a message on their favorite radio show. Liz and the Ferrellis, a family of singing bakers, appear on Col. Daws's Amateur Hour, and after their song, Liz appeals to Bill to return home. Bill hears the show and returns to the boardinghouse as Virginia goes into labor. Greedy Thaddeus calls the police in the hope of getting a reward for Bill's arrest, but Liz persuades the policemen to wait until after the baby is born. The next morning, Virginia and Bill's daugther arrives and they name her Elizabeth. Policeman Dan Crowley receives word that Whitey has recovered and cleared Bill through his testimony, and all ends well as Liz and the Ferrellis become radio regulars.

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 20, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play To Helen by Henry Moritz (production undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
5,950ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Shantytown was the first film in which Mary Lee received above title billing. Although a November 3, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Republic had purchased a story entitled "Shanty Town," written by Martin Williams, as "an intended debut starring vehicle for Mary Lee," the extent of Williams' contribution to the completed film has not been determined. Hollywood Reporter news items also noted that Leonard Fields was replaced as the picture's producer when he entered the Navy and that Margaret Wycherly, who was to play "Bessie Gorty," and James Brown, who was to play "William Allen," were replaced because of their commitments to other films. Marjorie Lord was borrowed from Universal for the picture, which was the only film in which she appeared with her then husband, actor John Archer. Their daughter, Anne Archer, is also an actress. Although copyright materials state that the song "It Had to Be You" was performed in the film, it was not heard in the viewed print.