Silk Hat Kid


1h 5m 1935

Film Details

Also Known As
The Lord's Referee
Release Date
Jul 19, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Lord's Referee" by Gerald Beaumont in Red Book Magazine (Jul 1923).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
6,250ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

When gangster Lefty Phillips tries to force legitimate New York casino owner Tim Martin to turn over his upstairs banquet room for roulette and other gambling tables, Tim throws Lefty out. Later, as Tim is giving Brother Joe Campbell of the nearby settlement house, a check to pay for the boys to go to summer camp, Lefty is about to fire his gun from outside the window. However, Lefty is knocked out by Eddie Howard, who has just arrived from Albany in response to Tim's offer of "protection" work. Joe, who remembers that Eddie used to be the champion boxer in his settlement house in Albany, is sorry to see that Eddie now carries a gun. He offers him a full-time job as boxing instructor for the boys, but Eddie, saying that his view of life has soured, refuses. While Joe goes to see a dying woman in Brooklyn, Eddie meets schoolteacher Laura Grant, with whom Tim is in love. Attracted to her, he decides to accept Joe's offer. Meanwhile, the dying woman in Brooklyn turns out to be Tim's divorced wife who has a four-year-old child, Tommy, born just after their divorce. She does not want Tim to have the child, but wants Joe to care for him. After Joe tells Laura about the boy, she offers to give him a home with her and her grandmother. They decide that Tim must not know the child's identity until he learns to love and want him. Eddie courts Laura, and she falls in love with him. After Tim finds out, he threatens not to provide money for the children's equipment and supplies unless Joe gets rid of Eddie. Joe refuses even though it means that the children will not be able to go to camp. Hoping to change Tim's mind, Laura reveals that Tommy is his son. Tim demands to have Tommy, rather than let Laura and Eddie rear him, even though he admits that he does not really want him. When Lefty learns that Tim now plans to buy gambling equipment for his upstairs room, he sends for Eddie and offers to promote him to head man at Tim's establishment if he will cooperate. Eddie refuses, whereupon Lefty taunts him, saying that he is getting "high-hat" and is liable to be called the "Silk Hat Kid." Eddie decides to return to Albany so that Tim will come through with the money. When Lefty and his mob fight with Tim, Eddie takes Tommy and Tim's strongbox. After the fight, Tim goes looking for Eddie with a gun. At the settlement house, Joe takes Tim's gun and then referees as he and Eddie fight. Although he is severely beaten, Eddie wins. After Joe gives Tim the strongbox and reveals that Eddie took it for safekeeping, Tim apologizes to Eddie, gives Joe the money for the children, decides to give Tommy a home and wishes Eddie and Laura good luck.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Lord's Referee
Release Date
Jul 19, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Lord's Referee" by Gerald Beaumont in Red Book Magazine (Jul 1923).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
6,250ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Lord's Referee. Edward Pawley, who was originally cast for the role of "Lefty Phillips," withdrew after two days work due to illness, and he was replaced by Ralf Harolde. Although the name of John Qualen's character is listed as "Mr. Fossbender" in the screen credits, he is called "Rasmussen" in the dialogue. Production charts list Del Henderson and Herman Bing in the cast; however, their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In 1926, Fox produced a film entitled The Blue Eagle based on the same source, which was directed by John Ford and starred George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor and William Russell; the plot of that film is quite different from Silk Hat Kid (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0492).