Safety in Numbers (1938)

58 mins | Comedy | 18 July 1938

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HISTORY

The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. A Var news item from Nov 1937 noted that the studio had purchased a story by Eve Golden and Geyne Schenk for this film, but a news item from Jan 1938 states that the film was to be based on a story by Dorothy Manney and Zena George, who received credit in all the reviews and in the copyright descriptions. As Golden and Schenk's work is not included in the Produced Scripts Collection, it is doubtful that their work was used for this film. This was the first of the Jones Family series that was not produced by Max Golden. Joan Valerie is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. For more information about the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Every Saturday Night ... More Less

The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. A Var news item from Nov 1937 noted that the studio had purchased a story by Eve Golden and Geyne Schenk for this film, but a news item from Jan 1938 states that the film was to be based on a story by Dorothy Manney and Zena George, who received credit in all the reviews and in the copyright descriptions. As Golden and Schenk's work is not included in the Produced Scripts Collection, it is doubtful that their work was used for this film. This was the first of the Jones Family series that was not produced by Max Golden. Joan Valerie is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. For more information about the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Every Saturday Night . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13-Aug-38
---
Daily Variety
5 Aug 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Sep 38
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 38
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 38
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 38
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Aug 38
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Jul 38
p. 50.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Aug 38
p. 62.
New York Times
6 Sep 38
p. 17.
Variety
27-Nov-37
---
Variety
7 Sep 38
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
18 July 1938
Production Date:
began 20 June 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
9 September 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8296
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
58
Length(in feet):
5,250
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4448
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Maryville, U.S.A., Lucy Jones learns that she has won a radio contest. She is to read her essay, "Why My Mother Is the Best Mother in the World," on the air, and her mother Louise is to say a few words. The Jones family goes to the radio station, and when Toni Stewart, the contest organizer's niece, yodels together with Roger Jones, Roger accidentally broadcasts their sounds over the air. The next day, Lucy goes for a ride with Tommy McGuire, the delivery boy at the Jones's drugstore, who has just acquired a new scooter. The scooter's sidecar detaches, and Lucy lands in a puddle of mud. John Jones, the head of the family, receives a visit from Dr. Lawrence Edmonds, President of Maryville Land and Water Corporation, who wants to sponsor a series of radio programs called "Family Forum," in which Louise will give advice on family matters, as a vehicle for selling mineral water from nearby Barton Springs. After Jones confirms by the awful taste of the water that it does contain minerals, he encourages the town to invest in the project, and Edmonds gives them five days to raise $100,000. Meanwhile, Toni and Jack have fallen in love, but Toni is due to leave for California in a few days to be married to a man of her mother's choosing. She and Jack decide to elope, and they send an anonymous letter to "Family Forum." Jack then asks Louise to read some of the letters she has received and selects his own. As she reads it, the family agrees that the young lovers in the letter ... +


In Maryville, U.S.A., Lucy Jones learns that she has won a radio contest. She is to read her essay, "Why My Mother Is the Best Mother in the World," on the air, and her mother Louise is to say a few words. The Jones family goes to the radio station, and when Toni Stewart, the contest organizer's niece, yodels together with Roger Jones, Roger accidentally broadcasts their sounds over the air. The next day, Lucy goes for a ride with Tommy McGuire, the delivery boy at the Jones's drugstore, who has just acquired a new scooter. The scooter's sidecar detaches, and Lucy lands in a puddle of mud. John Jones, the head of the family, receives a visit from Dr. Lawrence Edmonds, President of Maryville Land and Water Corporation, who wants to sponsor a series of radio programs called "Family Forum," in which Louise will give advice on family matters, as a vehicle for selling mineral water from nearby Barton Springs. After Jones confirms by the awful taste of the water that it does contain minerals, he encourages the town to invest in the project, and Edmonds gives them five days to raise $100,000. Meanwhile, Toni and Jack have fallen in love, but Toni is due to leave for California in a few days to be married to a man of her mother's choosing. She and Jack decide to elope, and they send an anonymous letter to "Family Forum." Jack then asks Louise to read some of the letters she has received and selects his own. As she reads it, the family agrees that the young lovers in the letter should elope. The next day, Tommy and Lucy take her brother Bobby on a picnic to Barton Springs, where Bobby falls in. The three return with their clothes soaked, and Roger notices that the clothes do not smell. Suspicious, he goes to the spring and gets a sample straight from the stream. The deadline to raise the money has arrived, and the town has raised only $90,000. They give Edmonds the money and take the deed to Barton Springs as security, while they try to raise the rest. When Edmonds hears that Roger has obtained a sample from the spring, he orders his men to leave town. As Toni and Jack are on the way to get married, they hear about the fraud on the radio and return to help. To entrap the criminals, Louise goes on the air and falsely assures her listeners that the water has been tested and is indeed mineral water of the highest quality. When the crooks hear this, they return to claim their fortune. They go to Jones's drugstore to retrieve the deed, and Jones, who doesn't understand his wife's scheme, tells them that the water is bad. The crooks then lock Jones, Tommy and Herbert Thompson, Jones's son-in-law, in a storeroom and flee. They are chased by the police and, after they are released, are chased again by Jones, Tommy and Herbert on Tommy's scooter. The sidecar with Jones in it detaches, and he careens into a bale of hay. The crooks' car overturns, and after they are apprehended, the town's money is returned. +

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.