Amateur Daddy (1932)

71 or 74 mins | Drama | 19 April 1932

Director:

John Blystone

Cinematographer:

James Wong Howe

Editor:

Louis Loeffler

Production Designer:

Joseph C. Wright

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles for this picture were Scotch Valley and Bachelor Affairs . The Mildred Cram novel on which the film was based first appeared serially in American Magazine May--Oct 1927. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Fox purchased the film rights to Cram's novel for $5,000. The story file also contains an early treatment of the film, in which it was suggested that Helen Mack be cast in the part of "Sally" if her performance in While Paris Sleeps (see below) was a success. Janet Gaynor was also named as a possible candidate for the part. A 19 Nov 1931 draft of the script credited Don Marquis with the dialogue and continuity, and a tentative script, dated 29 Dec 1931, listed John Seitz as the cameraman, Albert Protzman as the sound man and Gordon Wiles as the art director. Although the tentative script also listed actors Tommy Conlon ( Pete Smith ), William Pawley ( Sam Pelgram ), Minna Gombell ( Lottie Pelgram ) and Elda Vokel ( Olive Smith ) in the cast, all but William Pawley were replaced by the time of production. According to information contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the "graphic" depiction of "Jim" being beaten was deleted by censors in New York, Alberta, Ontario and ... More Less

Working titles for this picture were Scotch Valley and Bachelor Affairs . The Mildred Cram novel on which the film was based first appeared serially in American Magazine May--Oct 1927. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Fox purchased the film rights to Cram's novel for $5,000. The story file also contains an early treatment of the film, in which it was suggested that Helen Mack be cast in the part of "Sally" if her performance in While Paris Sleeps (see below) was a success. Janet Gaynor was also named as a possible candidate for the part. A 19 Nov 1931 draft of the script credited Don Marquis with the dialogue and continuity, and a tentative script, dated 29 Dec 1931, listed John Seitz as the cameraman, Albert Protzman as the sound man and Gordon Wiles as the art director. Although the tentative script also listed actors Tommy Conlon ( Pete Smith ), William Pawley ( Sam Pelgram ), Minna Gombell ( Lottie Pelgram ) and Elda Vokel ( Olive Smith ) in the cast, all but William Pawley were replaced by the time of production. According to information contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the "graphic" depiction of "Jim" being beaten was deleted by censors in New York, Alberta, Ontario and elsewhere. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
24 Apr 32
p. 10.
HF
30 Jan 32
p. 8.
HF
20-Feb-32
---
Motion Picture Herald
30 Apr 32
p. 42.
New York Times
23 Apr 32
p. 11.
Variety
26 Apr 32
p. 25.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Scotch Valley by Mildred Cram (New York, 1928).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep," music and lyrics by James Hanley.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Bachelor Affairs
Scotch Valley
Release Date:
19 April 1932
Production Date:
26 January--late February 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 March 1932
Copyright Number:
LP2946
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71 or 74
Length(in feet):
6,300
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Jim Gladden, a construction site foreman, is partially responsible for the accidental death of one of his workers, Fred Smith, and makes good on Fred's deathbed request to go to Scotch Valley and take care of his surviving wife and children. When Jim arrives in the small town, he is told that there are two Fred Smith families in Scotch Valley, the rich Smiths and the poor Smiths. Jim assumes that the Smiths he is looking for are the poor ones, and is directed to a house where four children live in poverty. In the absence of her recently deceased mother and deserting father, Sally, the oldest child, has taken over the responsibilities of rearing the other three children. Initially, Sally mistrusts Jim's intrusion, but later realizes his good intentions and accepts his help. Wanting to find food for the children, Jim asks about their neighbors, and Pete, the oldest boy, informs Jim that one neighbor, Sam Pelgram, once beat him and later cut off their water supply. Jim, unable to believe that any man could be so cruel, goes to see Pelgram for himself and discovers that Pete's description is accurate. After failing to reason with mean-spirited Pelgram, Jim tries to reason with his wife, but soon realizes that she is only interested in seducing him. Jim seeks the legal help of William J. Hansen to begin adoption procedures and, in town, meets Olive Smith, an attractive young woman to whom he is instantly attracted. Sally soon becomes jealous of Jim and Olive's relationship and competes with Olive for his attention. Meanwhile, Pelgram organizes a group of local men to run ... +


Jim Gladden, a construction site foreman, is partially responsible for the accidental death of one of his workers, Fred Smith, and makes good on Fred's deathbed request to go to Scotch Valley and take care of his surviving wife and children. When Jim arrives in the small town, he is told that there are two Fred Smith families in Scotch Valley, the rich Smiths and the poor Smiths. Jim assumes that the Smiths he is looking for are the poor ones, and is directed to a house where four children live in poverty. In the absence of her recently deceased mother and deserting father, Sally, the oldest child, has taken over the responsibilities of rearing the other three children. Initially, Sally mistrusts Jim's intrusion, but later realizes his good intentions and accepts his help. Wanting to find food for the children, Jim asks about their neighbors, and Pete, the oldest boy, informs Jim that one neighbor, Sam Pelgram, once beat him and later cut off their water supply. Jim, unable to believe that any man could be so cruel, goes to see Pelgram for himself and discovers that Pete's description is accurate. After failing to reason with mean-spirited Pelgram, Jim tries to reason with his wife, but soon realizes that she is only interested in seducing him. Jim seeks the legal help of William J. Hansen to begin adoption procedures and, in town, meets Olive Smith, an attractive young woman to whom he is instantly attracted. Sally soon becomes jealous of Jim and Olive's relationship and competes with Olive for his attention. Meanwhile, Pelgram organizes a group of local men to run Jim out of town by abducting and whipping him. Jim survives the ordeal and later discovers that Pelgram wants the Smith ranch because he has found oil on it. At the guardianship hearings, Mrs. Pelgram testifies against Jim's character by fabricating a story about how he made sexual advances toward her. The judge, however, is convinced of Jim's suitability as a parent and grants him custody of the children. Returning to the Smith ranch, Jim and the children are shocked to see their father, who has just been released from San Quentin. Smith announces that, just moments before, he sold the ranch to Pelgram. When Smith learns about the oil on the land, he welches on his deal with Pelgram, and Pelgram kills him. Pelgram is then arrested and led away to prison. Despite his realization that he has been living with the wrong Smith family all along, Jim decides to remain with his newly adopted family. +

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

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