White Tie and Tails


1h 14m 1946

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 30, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the serial story Double Murder by Rufus King in Red Book Magazine (Jan--May 1929) and the play Dangerously Yours by Charles Beahan (copyrighted 12 Nov 1929).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Charles Dumont, butler to the Latimer household, is indispensable to each member of the family, advising them on every aspect of their lives from attire to relationships to business dealings. When the Latimers leave town for a vacation in Palm Beach, however, Charles decides to indulge in their wealthy lifestyle, despite the misgivings of the family chauffeur, George. Dressed in elegant white tie and tails, Charles has George drive him to the swank Club Bayou, where he is seated next to wealthy socialite Louise Bradford and her date, Archer Ripley. Noting that Louise is inebriated, Charles has the kitchen send him the ingredients to mix a "prairie oyster," which immediately cures Louise's headache. While Louise and Archer are dancing, Charles accidentally discovers a gun in Louise's purse and covers for her when Archer later makes inquiries. Learning that Louise and Archer will be at the opera the following evening, Charles arranges to be seated in their box. Louise introduces him to her father and younger sister Cynthia, who is distracted and clearly expecting someone. Near the end of the opera, Cynthia slips away with a mustachioed man whom only Charles notices. When George tampers with the Bradford limousine, Charles is able to offer the Bradfords and Archer a ride back to the Bradford mansion, where they are throwing a party. They invite Charles along, and he quickly becomes the center of attention due to his skill at mixing cocktails. Bradford is disturbed by Cynthia's absence and blames Louise. When Louise leaves the party, Charles follows and, having overheard Bradford's reprimand, asks if he can help. Louise confesses that Cynthia is romantically involved with gambler Larry Lundie's right-hand man Nate Romano, whom Louise considered threatening with the gun she had purchased. Charles offers to meet with Lundie, and he and Louise go to Lundie's gambling casino. Upon meeting Larry, Charles rearranges his tie and offers him advice on displaying his handkerchief, which impresses Larry. Larry agrees to order Romano to stop seeing Cynthia in exchange for her gambling debts being cleared. Believing that the total debt is $103 instead of $103,000, Charles offers Larry a check, which he accepts while also admiring the cut of Charles' suit. Louise then promises Charles her father will reimburse him when he writes out the check for the full amount. Later that evening, Larry follows Charles and George to the Latimer home to ensure that Charles is capable of paying that substantial a check. He admires the house, which he believes belongs to Charles, then demands two valuable paintings from Latimer's collection as collateral for the check, and Charles has no choice but to let Larry take the paintings. The next day Louise visits Charles to apologize, as her father cannot pay Charles immediately. Dismayed, Charles breaks down and confesses his station and his unrealized dream of being an artist. Panicked about covering the check, George and Charles make plans for George, who is always lucky, to gamble Charles' $2,000 savings at Lundie's. Unfortunately, after a winning streak, George loses all the money on one final try. The following day, Louise brings Charles the money, which she has gotten from Archer, whom she has agreed to marry. When Charles refuses the money, Louise chides him for giving up on his plan to be an artist and settling for work as a servant. That night Louise breaks into Lundie's to steal the paintings and runs into Charles, who has had the same idea. Larry finds them and has Romano throw them out. The next day, Larry shows up at the Latimers' demanding another painting as he has had the others examined and finds they are only worth $85,000. In the midst of an argument between Louise, Charles and Larry, the Latimers return from their vacation, one day early. When he receives an explanation, Latimer wants to report Charles for theft, but Larry offers to forgive the debt if Charles agrees to be his butler. Charles, inspired by Louise, refuses, saying he wants to paint, and Larry offers to be his patron if he will advise him on clothes, food and drinks. After Charles agrees, Louise prepares to live the life of a starving artist's wife, and they depart the Latimer home together.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 30, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the serial story Double Murder by Rufus King in Red Book Magazine (Jan--May 1929) and the play Dangerously Yours by Charles Beahan (copyrighted 12 Nov 1929).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Rufus King's serialized story was copyrighted in 1929 in novel form under the title Murder by the Clock. Paramount purchased the novel as well as Charles Beahan's unproduced play in April 1931. According to a Hollywood Reporter item, Charles Korvin was originally set to co-star with William Bendix and William Seitner was to direct White Tie and Tails. Another Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Betty Hunter was cast in the film, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Donald Curtis was borrowed from M-G-M for the production.