I Promise to Pay (1937)

54 or 65-66 mins | Drama | 21 April 1937

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Loan Shark . Although an Aug 1936 HR news item listed Howard J. Green as the film's producer, his participation in the final film has not been determined. According to the file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA received a number of complaints from loan companies regarding the proposed film. The file also indicates that Columbia agreed to add material to the film to make a clear distinction between disreputable loan operations and reputable, licensed ... More Less

The working title of this film was Loan Shark . Although an Aug 1936 HR news item listed Howard J. Green as the film's producer, his participation in the final film has not been determined. According to the file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA received a number of complaints from loan companies regarding the proposed film. The file also indicates that Columbia agreed to add material to the film to make a clear distinction between disreputable loan operations and reputable, licensed ones. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
18 Feb 37
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 36
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 36
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 37
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Feb 37
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Feb 37
p. 58.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Nov 37
p. 44.
New York Times
26 Apr 37
p. 15.
Variety
3 Mar 37
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Boyd Irwin Sr.
Earl M. Pingree
Johnny Tyrrell
Chuck Hamilton
George DeNormand
Estelle Ettaire
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Loan Shark
Release Date:
21 April 1937
Production Date:
2 November--24 December 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
13 February 1937
Copyright Number:
LP6918
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
54 or 65-66
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2820
SYNOPSIS

After failing to get an advance on his paycheck, Eddie Lang, a clerk, borrows money from a loan shark in order to take his wife Mary and their two children on a vacation. When Eddie returns from his vacation, he finds that he is unable to repay the loan, as the bonus that he expected did not arrive. Although he tries to negotiate with the loan racketeers, headed by gangster Richard Farra, and offers to pay them in small weekly installments, the mob robs Eddie of his paychecks and threatens him. The gang begins to regularly accost Eddie on his way home from work and steal his paychecks, so the next time he receives his check, he mails it to his wife for safekeeping. The gang discovers Eddie's trick and sends some thugs to give him a beating and warn him not to go to the police unless he wishes to endanger his family. Desperate, Eddie steals money from his office in order to repay the gang, but his conscience later forces him to confess to the theft. Following his confession, Eddie is fired from his job, and is later forced to take a job on a WPA project. While working for the WPA, Eddie is visited by Farra's thugs, who give him such a severe beating that he must be hospitalized. Eddie's case is brought to the attention of the district attorney, and Eddie is given police protection so that he can testify in court about the gang's activities. Believing that his testimony will help others trapped in a similar predicament, Eddie offers to help the detectives find the leader of the mob. ... +


After failing to get an advance on his paycheck, Eddie Lang, a clerk, borrows money from a loan shark in order to take his wife Mary and their two children on a vacation. When Eddie returns from his vacation, he finds that he is unable to repay the loan, as the bonus that he expected did not arrive. Although he tries to negotiate with the loan racketeers, headed by gangster Richard Farra, and offers to pay them in small weekly installments, the mob robs Eddie of his paychecks and threatens him. The gang begins to regularly accost Eddie on his way home from work and steal his paychecks, so the next time he receives his check, he mails it to his wife for safekeeping. The gang discovers Eddie's trick and sends some thugs to give him a beating and warn him not to go to the police unless he wishes to endanger his family. Desperate, Eddie steals money from his office in order to repay the gang, but his conscience later forces him to confess to the theft. Following his confession, Eddie is fired from his job, and is later forced to take a job on a WPA project. While working for the WPA, Eddie is visited by Farra's thugs, who give him such a severe beating that he must be hospitalized. Eddie's case is brought to the attention of the district attorney, and Eddie is given police protection so that he can testify in court about the gang's activities. Believing that his testimony will help others trapped in a similar predicament, Eddie offers to help the detectives find the leader of the mob. Before Eddie can testify, however, he is shot by Farra's men, who are then captured by the police. Although he is seriously wounded, Eddie is taken to the courtroom, where he gives his testimony and makes a speech asking all those who are being victimized by the mob to come forth with information. His speech proves effective, as additional testimony by others seals Farra's indictment. Following the trial, Eddie recovers from the gunshot wound, and is given a job at the district attorney's office. +

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.