Cast & Crew
Civil war veteran Hank Kavanaugh lives with his five children: Max, Jenny, George, Mary and Arthur. He becomes concerned when Max and George continually miss the family meetings that are held each night after dinner. One night, at the dinner table, Hank becomes upset when he reads in the newspaper that communists have organized a strike in San Francisco. Hank goes into a tirade about the "Reds," only to have Max and George argue the virtues of the communist movement. Max and George then confess that they have been attending communist meetings in their town, and both have become firm believers in that doctrine. Hank becomes so upset with his sons that he decides to leave home and move into the Sawtell Soldiers' Home. Meanwhile, Billy Graham falls in love with Mary and asks her to marry him. She turns him down, stating that she cannot leave home, as it would be too much of a burden for her older sister, Jenny. Billy goes to the soldiers' home to enlist Hank's aid in wooing Mary. Hank agrees to go back to the Kavanaugh home, where he orders Mary to wed Hank. She becomes so upset at her father's meddling that she refuses to marry Billy under any conditions. When Max and George come home, they challenge their father to attend a communist meeting with them. Hank accepts the challenge, but he is throw out of the meeting for disrupting it. When the Colonel in charge of the soldiers' home learns of Hank's actions at the meeting, the old man is severely reprimanded. The unemployed Billy finally gets a job and, through the efforts of Jenny, is reunited with Mary. Unfortunately, a strike is called at Billy's factory. When Billy attempts to cross the picket lines, he is injured and rushed to the hospital. The communist leaders then decide to blow up the factory. Max is selected to be one of the bombers, under the leadership of Sonia, a Russian. Arthur learns of his brother's mission, and tells his father, who breaks into the armory of the old soldiers' home, arms his comrades with antique muskets, and marches on the communists' headquarters. After Hank and his men capture the ringleaders and lock them up in the guardhouse, Hank is honored for his actions. As Max and George recognize their youthful mistakes, Billy and Mary plan their imminent wedding.
William V. Mong
Carlyle Moore Jr.
The working titles of this film were Call to Arms and The Soldier Story. Variety noted that the picture was produced in the wake of a general strike in San Francisco. According to the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the film was rejected for release in Great Britain in December 1935, with no reason given. In a letter to producer Brian Foy of September 25, 1934, PCA Director Joseph Breen agreed to certify the proposed film as long as minor changes were made. These changes included the removal of any direct attacks on organized labor, capitalism, or constituted forces of law and order. As such, the film was to specify that the strike was the work of outside agitators. Variety also noted that director-writer-star Willard Mack died shortly after the film's completion, which delayed its release, and led to his name being removed from many newspaper ads.