Richest Man in Town (1941)

70 mins | Drama | 12 June 1941

Director:

Charles Barton

Producer:

Jack Fier

Cinematographer:

Philip Tannura

Editor:

Al Clark

Production Designers:

Lionel Banks, Fred Astholtz

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Obituary . Although a Columbia publicity item contained in the AMPAS Library production files states that Alice Ernest and Claire May appeared in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. This picture marked the screen debut of Eileen ... More Less

The working title of this film was Obituary . Although a Columbia publicity item contained in the AMPAS Library production files states that Alice Ernest and Claire May appeared in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. This picture marked the screen debut of Eileen O'Hearn. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Jun 1941.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Jun 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 May 41
p. 146.
Variety
11 Jun 41
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Obituary
Release Date:
12 June 1941
Production Date:
1 April--15 April 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
12 June 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10643
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in feet):
6,202
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the small town of Weston, newspaper editor Pete Martin and wealthy banker Abb Crothers have quarrelled ever since they were boys, but underneath their discord lies a strong bond. One day, Tom Manning and two other men arrive in Weston, posing as theatrical producers desirous of staging a summer show. Long hopeful of establishing a local theater, Pete supports their endeavor. When Abb learns of their scheme, however, he warns his friends against investing their money, thus prompting Pete to write a scathing editorial. Meanwhile, Pete's daughter Mary falls in love with Tom, and tries to convince Abb to rent his barn to Tom for a theater. When Abb vehemently refuses, Pete mortgages his paper to buy the barn. A few weeks later, Abb becomes seriously ill. Thinking that his old adversary is going to die, Pete writes a touching obituary. The next morning, as Pete finishes his tribute, he learns that Abb will recover and shoves the article in his desk drawer. As the day of the performance nears, Tom's conscience begins to trouble him and he decides to cancel the show and return the investors' money. When Abb, who has investigated the promoters, provides evidence of Tom's duplicity to Mary, the two lovers argue and Tom leaves town. Determined to justify Pete's faith in him, Tom decides to return and stage the show. On opening night, Pete suffers a severe heart attack. Abb's true feelings for his friend come to the fore when, upon learning that some theatrical critics are planning to review a show in a neighboring town, Abb changes the road signs ... +


In the small town of Weston, newspaper editor Pete Martin and wealthy banker Abb Crothers have quarrelled ever since they were boys, but underneath their discord lies a strong bond. One day, Tom Manning and two other men arrive in Weston, posing as theatrical producers desirous of staging a summer show. Long hopeful of establishing a local theater, Pete supports their endeavor. When Abb learns of their scheme, however, he warns his friends against investing their money, thus prompting Pete to write a scathing editorial. Meanwhile, Pete's daughter Mary falls in love with Tom, and tries to convince Abb to rent his barn to Tom for a theater. When Abb vehemently refuses, Pete mortgages his paper to buy the barn. A few weeks later, Abb becomes seriously ill. Thinking that his old adversary is going to die, Pete writes a touching obituary. The next morning, as Pete finishes his tribute, he learns that Abb will recover and shoves the article in his desk drawer. As the day of the performance nears, Tom's conscience begins to trouble him and he decides to cancel the show and return the investors' money. When Abb, who has investigated the promoters, provides evidence of Tom's duplicity to Mary, the two lovers argue and Tom leaves town. Determined to justify Pete's faith in him, Tom decides to return and stage the show. On opening night, Pete suffers a severe heart attack. Abb's true feelings for his friend come to the fore when, upon learning that some theatrical critics are planning to review a show in a neighboring town, Abb changes the road signs to direct the critics to Weston instead. That night, as the show wins critical acclaim and Tom and Mary reconcile, Abb mutely watches his old friend pass away. As he passes the newspaper office on his way home, Abb decides to write an obituary for Pete and finds the touching tribute that Pete wrote to him. With tears in his eyes, Abb tells the printer to run the obituary, substituting Pete's name for his. +

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.