Kept Husbands (1931)

75-76 mins | Drama | 22 February 1931

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HISTORY

Clara Kimball Young, a major star of the early silent period, made her sound film debut in this film after a six-year absence from the screen. In the "seduction" scene, Bryant Washburn, another silent film star, chases Dorothy Mackaill around his apartment in an obvious parody of silent film "melodramas." RKO borrowed Dorothy Mackaill and Lloyd Bacon from Warner Bros. for the ... More Less

Clara Kimball Young, a major star of the early silent period, made her sound film debut in this film after a six-year absence from the screen. In the "seduction" scene, Bryant Washburn, another silent film star, chases Dorothy Mackaill around his apartment in an obvious parody of silent film "melodramas." RKO borrowed Dorothy Mackaill and Lloyd Bacon from Warner Bros. for the production. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
11 Dec 30
p. 6.
Film Daily
8 Feb 31
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jan 31
p. 50.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Mar 31
p. 116.
New York Times
24 Mar 31
p. 31.
Variety
25 Mar 31
p. 17.
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 February 1931
Production Date:
began mid December 1930
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 February 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2049
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75-76
Length(in feet):
6,832
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After he saves the lives of three New Jersey steel mill workers, steel "boss" Richard "Dick" Brunton is invited to dinner by Arthur Parker, the mill owner, and is offered a reward for his courage. In front of Parker, his snobbish wife Henrietta and socialite daughter Dot, Dick refuses the reward but stays for dinner. During the meal, Dot, who had earlier ridiculed Dick behind his back, discovers that he is a former "All-American" Yale University halfback. Now enamored of Dick, Dot makes a bet with her skeptical father that she can win Dick's heart in four weeks. As planned, Dot proposes to Dick and convinces him to marry her in spite of their class differences and Dick's low salary. Dot then talks her father into promoting Dick to third vice-president and secures a handsome allowance for herself. After an expensive honeymoon in Europe, which has been financed by Parker, Dot and Dick return to New Jersey, where Dot has bought a lavish house. Although Dick resists the move, Dot insists that they stay and celebrates with a loud housewarming party. Six months later, Parker offers Dick, who now spends his work day reading bridge books and going to parties with Dot, a chance to promote a controversial engineering plan to a company in St. Louis. Anxious to prove himself, Dick eagerly accepts the challenge, but Dot refuses to leave town during the height of the social season. In spite of Dot's tears, Dick prepares to leave, but is counseled by his mother to make amends with Dot. Before Dick returns home, Dot has a rendezvous with Charlie Bates, a former ... +


After he saves the lives of three New Jersey steel mill workers, steel "boss" Richard "Dick" Brunton is invited to dinner by Arthur Parker, the mill owner, and is offered a reward for his courage. In front of Parker, his snobbish wife Henrietta and socialite daughter Dot, Dick refuses the reward but stays for dinner. During the meal, Dot, who had earlier ridiculed Dick behind his back, discovers that he is a former "All-American" Yale University halfback. Now enamored of Dick, Dot makes a bet with her skeptical father that she can win Dick's heart in four weeks. As planned, Dot proposes to Dick and convinces him to marry her in spite of their class differences and Dick's low salary. Dot then talks her father into promoting Dick to third vice-president and secures a handsome allowance for herself. After an expensive honeymoon in Europe, which has been financed by Parker, Dot and Dick return to New Jersey, where Dot has bought a lavish house. Although Dick resists the move, Dot insists that they stay and celebrates with a loud housewarming party. Six months later, Parker offers Dick, who now spends his work day reading bridge books and going to parties with Dot, a chance to promote a controversial engineering plan to a company in St. Louis. Anxious to prove himself, Dick eagerly accepts the challenge, but Dot refuses to leave town during the height of the social season. In spite of Dot's tears, Dick prepares to leave, but is counseled by his mother to make amends with Dot. Before Dick returns home, Dot has a rendezvous with Charlie Bates, a former admirer, who tries to seduce her in his apartment. When Dot shows up early the next morning, Dick, who has seen her with Charlie, questions her about her activities. Furious at Dot's lies, Dick berates her for turning him into a "kept husband" and announces their separation and his resignation from her father's firm. Eventually, however, Dot realizes her selfish foolishness and finds Dick, who has decided to go to St. Louis after all, at the train station. After apologizing, Dot agrees to live on Dick's salary and be a loving wife. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.