This Marriage Business (1938)

70-71 mins | Comedy-drama | 8 April 1938

Director:

Christy Cabanne

Producer:

Cliff Reid

Cinematographer:

Joseph August

Editor:

Harry Marker

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was It Couldn't Happen Again . HR casting announcements add Bryant Washburn and Tom Chatterton to the cast list, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. RKO borrowed Vicki Lester from Mervyn LeRoy's company for this ... More Less

The working title of this film was It Couldn't Happen Again . HR casting announcements add Bryant Washburn and Tom Chatterton to the cast list, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. RKO borrowed Vicki Lester from Mervyn LeRoy's company for this film. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Mar 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Jun 38
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 38
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 38
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 38
p. 14.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Mar 38
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Feb 38
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Mar 38
pp. 46-47.
Variety
8 Jun 38
p. 17.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
It Couldn't Happen Again
Release Date:
8 April 1938
Production Date:
began 25 January 1938
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
4 April 1938
Copyright Number:
LP7922
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70-71
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4073
SYNOPSIS

While pursuing an eloping heiress, big city reporter Bill Bennett and photographer "Candid" Perry are stopped by a pretty woman, whose car has run out of gas on the highway. After Bill and Candid promise to return with fuel, they track the heiress to the small town of Middleton and witness her secret marriage. Later, Bill becomes interested in Jud Parker, the marriage license clerk, who boasts to him that none of the couples whom he has served has ever filed for divorce. Sure that Jud's perfect record will make for a good human interest story, Bill interviews the clerk at his home and is introduced to his daughter Nancy, who turns out to be the stranded motorist. Although Nancy angrily snubs him for forgetting to deliver the promised gas, Bill determines to win her heart and remains in town with Candid. Curious about one of Middleton's citizens, Joe Selby, a known racketeer, Bill and Candid visit his roadhouse, where Nancy and her boyfriend, lawyer Lloyd Wilson, are also dining. Unknown to Bill, Selby and Middleton's corrupt police chief have planned a phony raid on the gambling club in order to satisfy the town's demand for a crack-down on local vice. During the raid, Bill saves Nancy from arrest, while Candid unwittingly knocks out Lloyd. The next day, Bill's story about Jud appears in his newspaper, and Jud, dubbed "Cupid" in the article, becomes the laughingstock of Middleton. Furious, Nancy again rejects Bill, but two weeks later, eloping couples, eager to have their marriage license prepared by the lucky clerk, pour into Middleton, making Jud a respected celebrity and Middleton, a ... +


While pursuing an eloping heiress, big city reporter Bill Bennett and photographer "Candid" Perry are stopped by a pretty woman, whose car has run out of gas on the highway. After Bill and Candid promise to return with fuel, they track the heiress to the small town of Middleton and witness her secret marriage. Later, Bill becomes interested in Jud Parker, the marriage license clerk, who boasts to him that none of the couples whom he has served has ever filed for divorce. Sure that Jud's perfect record will make for a good human interest story, Bill interviews the clerk at his home and is introduced to his daughter Nancy, who turns out to be the stranded motorist. Although Nancy angrily snubs him for forgetting to deliver the promised gas, Bill determines to win her heart and remains in town with Candid. Curious about one of Middleton's citizens, Joe Selby, a known racketeer, Bill and Candid visit his roadhouse, where Nancy and her boyfriend, lawyer Lloyd Wilson, are also dining. Unknown to Bill, Selby and Middleton's corrupt police chief have planned a phony raid on the gambling club in order to satisfy the town's demand for a crack-down on local vice. During the raid, Bill saves Nancy from arrest, while Candid unwittingly knocks out Lloyd. The next day, Bill's story about Jud appears in his newspaper, and Jud, dubbed "Cupid" in the article, becomes the laughingstock of Middleton. Furious, Nancy again rejects Bill, but two weeks later, eloping couples, eager to have their marriage license prepared by the lucky clerk, pour into Middleton, making Jud a respected celebrity and Middleton, a boom town. Buoyed by his success, Bill proposes marriage to a forgiving Nancy and promises to make Jud the mayor of Middleton. As Jud's campaign manager, Bill pushes a reform platform and causes Frisbee, the crooked incumbent mayor, to worry. To keep Jud from winning, Frisbee plots with Selby and Lloyd to have Jud seen talking to Bella Lawson, Selby's moll, by the town gossip. Wise to Frisbee's scheming, Bill confidently advises Jud to play along with his foe until he is able to expose him. When Jud shows up at the roadhouse, supposedly to issue a marriage license to Bella and Selby, he is surprised by the arrival of gangster Frankie Spencer, whom Bella had betrayed with Selby. After Selby shoots and kills Frankie, Jud, who was knocked out during the struggle, is framed for the killing. Spurned by Nancy, Bill vows to clear Jud's name and, after hearing that two shots were fired, goes with Candid to the roadhouse to search for the second gun. Although Candid is ambushed while escaping with photographs of Selby holding Frankie's gun, he uses Jud's dog to deliver the life-saving negatives, and both Jud and Bill are vindicated. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.