Passport Husband (1938)

67 mins | Comedy | 15 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. This marked the first screen credit for story writer Hilda Stone, the wife of Twentieth Century-Fox producer John Stone. The Produced Scripts Collection contains an undated 1937 article from the LAEx Magazine, entitled "'Arabian Nights' Adventure of the Poor Theatre Usher," which was the basis of Stone's story. According to the article, a Russian showgirl asked a nineteen-year-old theater usher in New York to marry her, without telling him that, as an illegal immigrant, she feared she would have trouble returning to the U.S. after a planned trip to England. After their marriage, the dancer left, vowing to divorce the usher, and because the usher heard nothing further from her, he retained the hope that she would return. A couple of years later, during the trial of racketeer "Lucky" Luciano, the usher read in the newspapers that his wife was one of Luciano's "sweethearts" and realized that she married him so that she could travel freely anytime the gangster sent for her. The usher then had the marriage annuled. The Produced Scripts Collection contains a treatment entitled "Meet the Countess," based on Stone's story, by Charles Belden and Jerry Cady, but it is not known if any of this material was included in the final film. ...

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The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. This marked the first screen credit for story writer Hilda Stone, the wife of Twentieth Century-Fox producer John Stone. The Produced Scripts Collection contains an undated 1937 article from the LAEx Magazine, entitled "'Arabian Nights' Adventure of the Poor Theatre Usher," which was the basis of Stone's story. According to the article, a Russian showgirl asked a nineteen-year-old theater usher in New York to marry her, without telling him that, as an illegal immigrant, she feared she would have trouble returning to the U.S. after a planned trip to England. After their marriage, the dancer left, vowing to divorce the usher, and because the usher heard nothing further from her, he retained the hope that she would return. A couple of years later, during the trial of racketeer "Lucky" Luciano, the usher read in the newspapers that his wife was one of Luciano's "sweethearts" and realized that she married him so that she could travel freely anytime the gangster sent for her. The usher then had the marriage annuled. The Produced Scripts Collection contains a treatment entitled "Meet the Countess," based on Stone's story, by Charles Belden and Jerry Cady, but it is not known if any of this material was included in the final film.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Jul 1938
---
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1938
p. 3
Film Daily
26 Jul 1938
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 1938
p. 15
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 1938
p. 11
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 1938
p. 4
Motion Picture Daily
11 Jul 1938
p. 6
Motion Picture Herald
11 Jun 1938
pp. 48-50
Motion Picture Herald
2 Jul 1938
p. 42
New York Times
5 Aug 1938
p. 11
Variety
23 Jul 1937
---
Variety
27 Jul 1938
p. 17
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Contr to trmt
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Nick De Maggio
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 July 1938
Production Date:
9 May--late May 1938
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
15 July 1938
LP8429
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
67
Length(in feet):
6,200
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4363
SYNOPSIS

At the Club Habana, Henry Cabot, a bumbling busboy, is infatuated with the club's dancer, Conchita Montez. As Tiger Martin, the leader of a gang of thieves, gives Conchita a diamond bracelet, he is arrested. After Tiger is deported, Duke Selton, of Tiger's gang, pays a visit to Conchita and tells her he believes that Blackie Bennet, the leader of a rival gang, is responsible for tipping off the police about Tiger's citizenship. With hopes of winning her for himself, Blackie offers Conchita a better diamond bracelet and calls Tiger a "cheap ape." Insulted, Conchita throws the bracelet out the window, and it lands on Henry's head. Henry, who has been fired from his job for breaking dishes, returns the bracelet to Conchita, who promises to get his job back for him. When Blackie informs Conchita that she will also be deported unless she marries an American, she tells Henry that she is wanted in her own country for political crimes. Henry then accepts her proposal, and they are married right away. Jealous, Blackie wants Henry killed, but his attorney, H. C. Walton, reminds him that Henry must remain alive for their scheme to work. Just then, Duke receives a telegram from Tiger, who, having heard about Conchita's marriage, instructs Duke to kill Henry. When Henry learns the real reason that Conchita married him, he tells her he is going to file for an annulment. Blackie and Walton decide that the only way to stop the annulment is to convince Conchita to move in with Henry. As she is moving her belongings into Henry's apartment, Henry arrives and tells her to go. ...

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At the Club Habana, Henry Cabot, a bumbling busboy, is infatuated with the club's dancer, Conchita Montez. As Tiger Martin, the leader of a gang of thieves, gives Conchita a diamond bracelet, he is arrested. After Tiger is deported, Duke Selton, of Tiger's gang, pays a visit to Conchita and tells her he believes that Blackie Bennet, the leader of a rival gang, is responsible for tipping off the police about Tiger's citizenship. With hopes of winning her for himself, Blackie offers Conchita a better diamond bracelet and calls Tiger a "cheap ape." Insulted, Conchita throws the bracelet out the window, and it lands on Henry's head. Henry, who has been fired from his job for breaking dishes, returns the bracelet to Conchita, who promises to get his job back for him. When Blackie informs Conchita that she will also be deported unless she marries an American, she tells Henry that she is wanted in her own country for political crimes. Henry then accepts her proposal, and they are married right away. Jealous, Blackie wants Henry killed, but his attorney, H. C. Walton, reminds him that Henry must remain alive for their scheme to work. Just then, Duke receives a telegram from Tiger, who, having heard about Conchita's marriage, instructs Duke to kill Henry. When Henry learns the real reason that Conchita married him, he tells her he is going to file for an annulment. Blackie and Walton decide that the only way to stop the annulment is to convince Conchita to move in with Henry. As she is moving her belongings into Henry's apartment, Henry arrives and tells her to go. Blackie and Walton are satisfied, however, as they believe that the annulment will now be denied because Conchita attempted the move. As Conchita is leaving, the landlady, who has intercepted a telegram for Henry, informs her that he has inherited a million dollars from his Uncle Charlie, who invented the pinball machine. Henry's friend, Mary Jane Clayton, then arrives, and when the landlady tells her that Conchita is moving in again, Mary Jane sends a second telegram, which voids the first. She then goes to the apartment and tells Henry that he should make Conchita prove her love by cleaning the entire apartment. As Conchita finishes the cleaning, Mary Jane's telegram arrives, and Conchita leaves humiliated. Having heard about Henry's possession of his uncle's pinball machine business, both gangs attempt to extort distribution rights out of him. The gangs gather at Blackie's apartment, but Henry siphons smoke in to make the crooks think there is a fire. After accepting Henry's proposal of marriage, Mary Jane locks Conchita in the revolving door of the building. One by one, the crooks jump out the window into a fire net, where the authorities are waiting to take them away. After ushering the last crook out the window, Henry is so happy that he too falls out the window.

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

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