Best of Enemies (1933)

71-72 mins | Comedy | 23 June 1933

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Five Cents a Glass . Var stated, "Coast reports are that at least three directors had a hand in the making of the subject....The finished work has a patchy look that easily could have been the result of changing direction, and new ideas imposed upon an unsatisfactory original in an effort to make it jell." According to news items and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Frank Craven, who was co-author with Sam Mintz of the original screenplay, was also the original director of this film. According to a letter dated 21 Apr 1933, in the legal files, Craven and Fox came to a mutual understanding that his name, both as a writer and director, would be eliminated from the screen credits and publicity. On 24 Apr 1933, Rian James, who was under contract to Fox as a writer, was removed from his then-present assignment and assigned "to do certain work" on this film. He continued with the film until 1 Jun. On 10 May 1933, Fox executed a contract with James Cruze to direct retakes and added scenes, with the proviso that his name would not be included in the screen credits or publicity. Cruze's contract ended on 1 Jun 1933, and James, subsequently received screen credit for direction. Also according to the legal records, Dan Jarrett was originally cast for the role of "William H. Hartman," and Walter Thiele was original cast as "August." Var noted that the film marked "the screen come-back attempt of Buddy ... More Less

The working title of this film was Five Cents a Glass . Var stated, "Coast reports are that at least three directors had a hand in the making of the subject....The finished work has a patchy look that easily could have been the result of changing direction, and new ideas imposed upon an unsatisfactory original in an effort to make it jell." According to news items and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Frank Craven, who was co-author with Sam Mintz of the original screenplay, was also the original director of this film. According to a letter dated 21 Apr 1933, in the legal files, Craven and Fox came to a mutual understanding that his name, both as a writer and director, would be eliminated from the screen credits and publicity. On 24 Apr 1933, Rian James, who was under contract to Fox as a writer, was removed from his then-present assignment and assigned "to do certain work" on this film. He continued with the film until 1 Jun. On 10 May 1933, Fox executed a contract with James Cruze to direct retakes and added scenes, with the proviso that his name would not be included in the screen credits or publicity. Cruze's contract ended on 1 Jun 1933, and James, subsequently received screen credit for direction. Also according to the legal records, Dan Jarrett was originally cast for the role of "William H. Hartman," and Walter Thiele was original cast as "August." Var noted that the film marked "the screen come-back attempt of Buddy Rogers." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
13 Jan 33
p. 5.
Film Daily
28 Feb 33
p. 4.
Film Daily
16 Mar 33
p. 2.
Film Daily
17 Jul 33
p. 7.
HF
25 Mar 33
p. 12.
HF
15 Apr 33
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 33
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Apr 33
p. 20.
Motion Picture Daily
5 Jul 33
p. 9.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Jul 33
pp. 56-57.
New York Times
17 Jul 33
p. 19.
Variety
18 Jul 33
p. 37.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dir of retakes and added scenes
WRITERS
Scr
Dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
2d cam
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Frocks
MUSIC
Mus dir
DANCE
Dance dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"All American Girls," "Hans and Gretchen" and "We Belong to Alma," words and music by Val Burton and Will Jason
"Bier Hir" and "Ein Prosit," composer unknown
"Oh You Beautiful Doll," music by Nat D. Ayer, lyrics by Seymour Brown.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Five Cents a Glass
Release Date:
23 June 1933
Production Date:
20 March--mid April 1933
retakes and added scenes May 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
9 June 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3952
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71-72
Length(in feet):
6,800
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

William H. Hartman, an American businessman who has contributed a lot of money to help bring about prohibition, visits the beer garden of his German-American neighbor, Gus Schneider, hoping to buy Schneider's lease. Schneider, who hates Hartman, refuses. Hartman, whose young son Jimmie is a playmate of Schneider's daughter Lena, orders Jimmie not to play with Lena, after which he imbibes from a hidden bottle of whiskey. After prohibition takes effect, Schneider's converted restaurant draws few customers. Hartman now refuses Schneider's offer to sell the lease, and soon Schneider is dispossessed. He moves back to Germany, although he keeps his American citizenship. Meanwhile, Hartman builds a forty-story office building on the spot of Schneider's former beer garden. Twelve years later, Jimmie is devoting more time to music than to his studies. Although Hartman would like his son to become a financier, he agrees to send him to a conservatory in Germany. There he meets Lena, who is also studying music. Their initial attraction is furthered when they have dinner together and realize their identities. Because Schneider hates the name of Hartman, Jimmie suggests that Lena introduce him as "Jim Harty." Hartman, after purusing a girly magazine from Europe, decides to take a trip to visit his son. When Jimmie sees that his roommate August, a cellist, cannot afford to eat lunch everyday, he visits Schneider in his hofbrau and convinces Schneider to hire him and his fellow students to play jazz for food and beer. On the night of Lena's music competition, after which Jimmie plans to sail home, Lena tells him in German, which he does ... +


William H. Hartman, an American businessman who has contributed a lot of money to help bring about prohibition, visits the beer garden of his German-American neighbor, Gus Schneider, hoping to buy Schneider's lease. Schneider, who hates Hartman, refuses. Hartman, whose young son Jimmie is a playmate of Schneider's daughter Lena, orders Jimmie not to play with Lena, after which he imbibes from a hidden bottle of whiskey. After prohibition takes effect, Schneider's converted restaurant draws few customers. Hartman now refuses Schneider's offer to sell the lease, and soon Schneider is dispossessed. He moves back to Germany, although he keeps his American citizenship. Meanwhile, Hartman builds a forty-story office building on the spot of Schneider's former beer garden. Twelve years later, Jimmie is devoting more time to music than to his studies. Although Hartman would like his son to become a financier, he agrees to send him to a conservatory in Germany. There he meets Lena, who is also studying music. Their initial attraction is furthered when they have dinner together and realize their identities. Because Schneider hates the name of Hartman, Jimmie suggests that Lena introduce him as "Jim Harty." Hartman, after purusing a girly magazine from Europe, decides to take a trip to visit his son. When Jimmie sees that his roommate August, a cellist, cannot afford to eat lunch everyday, he visits Schneider in his hofbrau and convinces Schneider to hire him and his fellow students to play jazz for food and beer. On the night of Lena's music competition, after which Jimmie plans to sail home, Lena tells him in German, which he does not understand, that she would like more than anything for him to stay. When Lena does not win, because a professor whose name is Hartman breaks a tie vote and chooses her competitor, Schneider vows to choke the next Hartman who comes into his life. Jimmie, who has now learned what Lena told him in German, comforts her and, after telling her that he loves her, gets a job in a brewery and moves in with a friend. He writes a tune based on the rhythm he hears at the brewery and on Lena's music, and soon after he performs the song with his band, he has a hit which makes the hofbrau one of the busiest places in town. Hartman, with a blonde date, drinks beer there, not knowing that Schneider is the owner, but when he sees Jimmie, he goes backstage and orders him to give up the band. When Schneider interrupts and learns Jimmie's identity, he fires the band and objects to Jimmie marrying his daughter because, he says, he does not want to be the grandfather of little Hartmans. Jimmie and Lena elope on an ocean liner bound for America, and the two fathers follow. When Jimmie learns that they are on the boat, he delivers messages to both, supposedly from the other, urging a reconciliatory meeting. Hartman and Schneider drink beer together and sing, and decide to open a brewery together, when Jimmie and Lena interrupt them and reveal that they have married. A final argument about which father gave in and wrote the first note is never settled because in the midst of their bickering, the notes are blown overboard. +

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.