When Strangers Meet (1934)

72-74 mins | Drama | 20 July 1934

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HISTORY

According to Var , with the exception of the scene in the cabaret, all of the film's action takes place in a "Hollywood-style" bungalow court, which were popular during the 1930s. Sources conflict concerning the plot and characters. One source indicates that, in the end, "Paul" decides to stay at Tarman Court with "Barney" and his mother, while another states that he and "Ruth" leave for Des Moines. It is unclear from available plot descriptions whether "Paul" and "Ruth" marry before the end of the film. One source describes the character of "Nick Panaro" as a musician, not as a shoemaker. Liberty Pictures borrowed Richard Cromwell from Columbia Pictures for this ... More Less

According to Var , with the exception of the scene in the cabaret, all of the film's action takes place in a "Hollywood-style" bungalow court, which were popular during the 1930s. Sources conflict concerning the plot and characters. One source indicates that, in the end, "Paul" decides to stay at Tarman Court with "Barney" and his mother, while another states that he and "Ruth" leave for Des Moines. It is unclear from available plot descriptions whether "Paul" and "Ruth" marry before the end of the film. One source describes the character of "Nick Panaro" as a musician, not as a shoemaker. Liberty Pictures borrowed Richard Cromwell from Columbia Pictures for this production. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
9 Oct 34
p. 30.
Motion Picture Daily
4 Apr 34
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
17 Nov 34
p. 80.
Variety
20 Nov 34
p. 17.
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 July 1934
Premiere Information:
Hollywood opening: 3 April 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Liberty Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 February 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4516
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
72-74
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Tarman Court, a six-family bungalow court, is owned and operated by the greedy, vicious John Tarman, who dominates not only his tenants, but his wife Lucy and grown son Paul as well. When Paul's girl friend and neighbor, Ruth Crane, whose father Barney is the court drunk, encourages him to leave Tarman Court and pursue a career as a radio engineer, Paul confesses that he fears for his mother's safety. Consequently, when Paul receives word that he has been selected for a lucrative position at a Des Moines broadcasting company, he asks his mother to move with him. When she refuses to desert her husband, however, Paul turns down the offer, which infuriates Ruth. Barney, meanwhile, introduces Tarman to his new tenants, Ed Mason and his pretty wife Mary. Watched by his suspicious sister-in-law, Nell Peck, Tarman pays Mary numerous visits, unaware that Ed is plotting a crime. At the same time, Lucy sends the Des Moines company a telegram under her son's name and accepts the engineering job. When Paul discovers what Lucy has done, he goes to find Ruth, who, in anger, has gone to a cabaret with two roughnecks. Jealous, Paul picks a fight with Ruth's escorts but, following the brawl, makes up with and proposes to her. Back in the court, Tarman shows up at the Masons' and tries to force himself on Mary. When she backs up into the bedroom, Tarman discovers an armed Ed standing next to a tunnel that he has dug in order to break into a neighboring bank vault. The two men fight for the gun, and soon after, a drunk Barney comes to ... +


Tarman Court, a six-family bungalow court, is owned and operated by the greedy, vicious John Tarman, who dominates not only his tenants, but his wife Lucy and grown son Paul as well. When Paul's girl friend and neighbor, Ruth Crane, whose father Barney is the court drunk, encourages him to leave Tarman Court and pursue a career as a radio engineer, Paul confesses that he fears for his mother's safety. Consequently, when Paul receives word that he has been selected for a lucrative position at a Des Moines broadcasting company, he asks his mother to move with him. When she refuses to desert her husband, however, Paul turns down the offer, which infuriates Ruth. Barney, meanwhile, introduces Tarman to his new tenants, Ed Mason and his pretty wife Mary. Watched by his suspicious sister-in-law, Nell Peck, Tarman pays Mary numerous visits, unaware that Ed is plotting a crime. At the same time, Lucy sends the Des Moines company a telegram under her son's name and accepts the engineering job. When Paul discovers what Lucy has done, he goes to find Ruth, who, in anger, has gone to a cabaret with two roughnecks. Jealous, Paul picks a fight with Ruth's escorts but, following the brawl, makes up with and proposes to her. Back in the court, Tarman shows up at the Masons' and tries to force himself on Mary. When she backs up into the bedroom, Tarman discovers an armed Ed standing next to a tunnel that he has dug in order to break into a neighboring bank vault. The two men fight for the gun, and soon after, a drunk Barney comes to the Masons' door. Tarman, disguising his voice, slips Ed's gun into Barney's pocket, and when Ed and Mary are found dead and the bank robbed, Barney is accused. With the help of Nick Panaro, a shoemaker, who proves that shoeprints taken from inside the Mason bungalow match Tarman's, and testimony from Lucy, who reveals that she saw her husband shoot Ed, Barney is cleared of all charges. After Tarman makes an unsuccessful escape attempt, Paul and Ruth leave for Des Moines with Lucy's blessing. +

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.