The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo (1935)

66 or 68 mins | Drama | 29 November 1935

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HISTORY

The end credits were missing from the print viewed. According to HR , this was Nunnally Johnson's first film as an associate producer. Darryl Zanuck, Twentieth Century-Fox's production head, was beginning, at this time, to implement a policy to form a group of associate producers from among the writers at the studio. According to news items, John Ford was originally set to direct, but he was forced to relinquish the job because he slipped on his yacht and fractured two vertebrae. According to HR news items, editor Harold Schuster, who was set to direct Fly by Night , which Zanuck shelved soon after the new company was formed, was to assist on the set of this film. Schuster, who also lost the chance to direct a film for Fox four years earlier when the Chase Manhattan bankers took over the studio, left the company, with which he worked for nine years, after the editing of this film was complete. According to HR , the studio tried to borrow Sylvia Sidney from Paramount for the lead, but Paramout could not juggle the dates for her other commitments. Belle Daube is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In 1938, a justice for the Ontario Court of Appeals overruled a lower court decision on a case concerning this film and decided that the utilization of a song title as the title for a motion picture does not constitute an infringement of copyright. The lower court decision had awarded the petitioner, Francis, Day and Hunter, who held ... More Less

The end credits were missing from the print viewed. According to HR , this was Nunnally Johnson's first film as an associate producer. Darryl Zanuck, Twentieth Century-Fox's production head, was beginning, at this time, to implement a policy to form a group of associate producers from among the writers at the studio. According to news items, John Ford was originally set to direct, but he was forced to relinquish the job because he slipped on his yacht and fractured two vertebrae. According to HR news items, editor Harold Schuster, who was set to direct Fly by Night , which Zanuck shelved soon after the new company was formed, was to assist on the set of this film. Schuster, who also lost the chance to direct a film for Fox four years earlier when the Chase Manhattan bankers took over the studio, left the company, with which he worked for nine years, after the editing of this film was complete. According to HR , the studio tried to borrow Sylvia Sidney from Paramount for the lead, but Paramout could not juggle the dates for her other commitments. Belle Daube is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In 1938, a justice for the Ontario Court of Appeals overruled a lower court decision on a case concerning this film and decided that the utilization of a song title as the title for a motion picture does not constitute an infringement of copyright. The lower court decision had awarded the petitioner, Francis, Day and Hunter, who held the copyright to the song, an award of $1,046,350. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16-Nov-35
---
Daily Variety
15 Jul 35
p. 14.
Daily Variety
17 Jul 35
p. 6.
Daily Variety
20 Aug 35
p. 9.
Daily Variety
23 Oct 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Oct 35
p. 4.
HF
14 Sep 35
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 35
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 35
p. 1, 2
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 35
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 35
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 38
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
24 Oct 35
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Oct 35
p. 50.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Nov 35
p. 65.
New York Times
15 Nov 35
p. 20.
Variety
20 Nov 35
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Andre Cheron
General Theodore Lodi
Bob De Coudic
Georges Sorel
A. Trevor Bland
Arthur Stuart Hall
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Darryl F. Zanuck Twentieth Century Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Igra by Ilia Surgutchoff (production undetermined) and the play Monsieur Alexandre by Frederick Albert Swann (production undetermined).
SONGS
"The Man That Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo," words and music by Fred Gilbert.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 November 1935
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 15 November 1935
Production Date:
19 August--mid September 1935
added scenes early October 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 November 1935
Copyright Number:
LP6232
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66 or 68
Length(in feet):
6,020
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1546
SYNOPSIS

Paul Gallard enters the grand casino at a sporting club in Monte Carlo with an empty suitcase and proceeds to win ten million francs at the baccarat table before the bank surrenders and closes for the night. Paul fills the suitcase with bank notes and the next day announces he is leaving that evening. Upset that he has been quoted in newspapers stating that his win was a miracle that could never happen again, the management thinks that their business will suffer and try to entice him to stay. He is offered the royal suite and the use of a yacht, and they arrange for him to bump into a hunchback, a sign of luck, and to be given a flower with three four-leaf clovers by a flower girl. Paul tosses the flower away, and it lands inside a horseshoe. When he pays no attention to these lures, the management vows that Paul must return and eat his words. On the train to Paris, Paul overhears a man tell an attractive woman about the beauties of Switzerland, where they plan to go after a connection in Paris. Upon returning to Paris, Paul goes to the kitchen of the Cafe Russe, where he divides his winnings with his fellow Russian refugees who had staked him. Paul is actually a former Russian nobleman reduced to driving a taxi in Paris for the past ten years, and he now vows to kill his gambling habit. He boards a train for Switzerland with his former servant Ivan and arranges for the woman whom he saw on the train to Paris to be mistakenly put into ... +


Paul Gallard enters the grand casino at a sporting club in Monte Carlo with an empty suitcase and proceeds to win ten million francs at the baccarat table before the bank surrenders and closes for the night. Paul fills the suitcase with bank notes and the next day announces he is leaving that evening. Upset that he has been quoted in newspapers stating that his win was a miracle that could never happen again, the management thinks that their business will suffer and try to entice him to stay. He is offered the royal suite and the use of a yacht, and they arrange for him to bump into a hunchback, a sign of luck, and to be given a flower with three four-leaf clovers by a flower girl. Paul tosses the flower away, and it lands inside a horseshoe. When he pays no attention to these lures, the management vows that Paul must return and eat his words. On the train to Paris, Paul overhears a man tell an attractive woman about the beauties of Switzerland, where they plan to go after a connection in Paris. Upon returning to Paris, Paul goes to the kitchen of the Cafe Russe, where he divides his winnings with his fellow Russian refugees who had staked him. Paul is actually a former Russian nobleman reduced to driving a taxi in Paris for the past ten years, and he now vows to kill his gambling habit. He boards a train for Switzerland with his former servant Ivan and arranges for the woman whom he saw on the train to Paris to be mistakenly put into his compartment. He learns that the woman is Helen Berkeley and that the man traveling with her is her brother Bertrand. In Switzerland, Helen refuses Paul's many attempts to send her flowers and an invitation to dance; however, while climbing the Alps, Helen falls to a ledge where Paul has stopped. Soon they are riding together and dancing, and she confides in him that she is to be married in a fortnight to a sixty-two-year-old banker because Bertrand needs five million francs. Paul offers to share his Monte Carlo winnings, but she tearfully refuses and asks that he take her away so that they can spend a week together. Paul then ruefully accepts her request that they go to Monte Carlo. Ivan suspects that Helen has been hired to lure Paul back to the gambling tables, and Paul tells her that he would still love her even if Ivan were right, but that something inside would die. Helen actually had been hired by the casino management but since has decided not to go to Monte Carlo. She now confesses to Paul that she loves him, but refuses his marriage proposal. Helen then tells Bertrand that she is quitting despite his reminder that she was only a back street music hall performer when they were hired and that they will be paid 250,000 francs. When Paul tells Bertrand that he wants to marry Helen, Bertrand, to trick him says that she left already for Monte Carlo. While Paul and Ivan drive there, Bertrand tells Helen that they have left. She then changes her train reservation from Paris to Monte Carlo. Upon her arrival, Helen calls Paul's room to stop him from gambling, but Ivan reveals that Paul has already left for the club. Although Paul loses at first, when he is down to his last note, he begins to win. However, when the bank puts up its last tray of chips, worth six million francs, Paul loses. He laughs it off, but seeing Helen coming out of the director's office, he bitterly congratulates her and walks off. One year later, Paul, once again a taxi driver, drops off a passenger at a nightclub where he sees Helen's picture displayed. He gets dressed in tails and attends, and after Helen's song, dances with her and insults her, but then regrets it. Helen follows him and, finding out that he's a taxi driver, rejoices because she says that if he had lots of money, she could not tell him how sorry she is. She confesses she loves him, and together they attend a dinner and dance at the Cafe Russe in commemoration of Czar Nicholas II's birthday. +

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.