She Had to Eat


1h 14m 1937

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 2, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,698ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

When Raymond Quincy Nash, a rich dipsomaniac who is fond of hunting, stops his private train in the Arizona desert to hunt a rabbit, he meets Danny Decker, the owner of a nearby filling station, who keeps the rabbit, named Cactus, as a pet. Nash takes a liking to the lad and invites him on the train to become his skeet shooting partner at a tournament in North Carolina. Waking up the next morning sober, however, Nash has no recollection of the evening before and throws Dan off the train in New York City, blaming his gentleman's gentleman Carter for the presence of the "unsavory" guest. Dan, who is penniless, goes to a Western Union office to telegraph his mother for some money, and the clerk calls the police, believing erroneously that Dan is Mike Baby Face Burns, who has just escaped from jail. On the street, Dan meets Ann Garrison, a clever jobless girl who loves to eat, and she cons him out of his last quarter. The police arrest Dan, but when his fingerprints do not match Burns's, they release him. Dan meets Ann again, and this time she lets him in on her schemes to get money and free meals from the rich. When Dan learns that Ann is a nice girl who has been laid off from her job, he offers to give her half of the money that his mother will wire. At a hotel, where the couple try to con a free convention lunch, two gangsters, Pete and Rusty, spot Dan and believe him to be Burns. They tell their boss, Duke Stacey, that they have seen him, and he insists that Pete and Rusty find the fugitive gangster, as another gangster in St. Louis will pay $100,000 for his dead body. Pete and Rusty, who are really friends of Burns, decide to double-cross Duke and tip off the police so that Burns will be protected in jail. The police again pick up Dan, who is once more released when his fingerprints do not match up. At a fancy hotel, Dan and Ann meet up with Carter and a drunken Nash, who promises to give a huge reunion celebration now that he has found his long-lost friend. As Dan and Ann dance at a club with Carter and Nash looking on, Dan remembers that he left Cactus on Nash's train. Duke follows the group to the train, then announces his intent to hijack the locomotive to St. Louis, where he plans to deliver Dan, whom he believes to be Burns, to the other gangster. The ever-ingenious Alice writes S.O.S. messages on clay pigeons used for skeet shooting and tosses them into the track-side houses that the train passes. Some villagers call the police, and an inspector stops the train at the next station. Nash wakes up from a nap and again remembering nothing, assumes that Dan is a gangster who, with the others, has drugged him. The inspector also believes Dan to be Burns, and back in New York, the absent-minded fingerprint expert makes a mistake this time and identifies Dan as the fugitive. Just then the information that Burns has been killed in Indiana reaches the police precinct, and Dan is once again released. Ann and Dan find Cactus, whom Nash and Carter have brought to the police station, and the couple embrace, thankful that Nash is nowhere to be seen. They are thankful too soon, however, as they hear the drunken millionaire calling Dan from another room.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 2, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,698ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, and the onscreen credits were taken from a screen credit sheet in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, both of which are at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. According to information in the legal records, the project began when the studio purchased an unpublished, uncopyrighted story from James Edward Grant. Samuel G. Engel and M. M. Musselman then worked on a treatment and screenplay together, although the screen credits read "Screen play by Samuel G. Engel; Based on the stories by M. M. Musselman and James Edward Grant." Other writers who worked on the project were Willis Cooper, Curtis Kenyon and Norman Burnstine, but it is not known if their material was included in the final film. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Arline Judge was originally scheduled for the role of "Ann Garrison." Walter Catlett is listed as a cast member in a Hollywood Reporter production chart, but his participation in the final film is doubtful. Reviewers noted that the humor in this film was of the same type as that in other recent films. Motion Picture Herald commented, "With variations in the pattern, this picture follows the general direction of recent comedies in which the characters become embroiled in incredible situations, fantastic enough to provoke loud laughter when properly handled." Variety noted that the "prevailing Hollywood notion [is] that nothing is so important as a laugh."