Laugh and Get Rich (1931)

72-73 mins | Comedy | 20 April 1931

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Board and Room . MPH reviewed the film under that title. A FD pre-production news item adds Wade Boteler and Hector V. Sarno to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although the same item announces Ralph Spence as the picture's screenwriter, he is credited only with additional dialogue on ... More Less

The working title of this film was Board and Room . MPH reviewed the film under that title. A FD pre-production news item adds Wade Boteler and Hector V. Sarno to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although the same item announces Ralph Spence as the picture's screenwriter, he is credited only with additional dialogue on screen. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
8 Feb 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
22 Mar 31
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 30
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Mar 31
p. 59.
New York Times
28 Mar 31
p. 15.
Variety
1 Mar 31
p. 17.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Board and Room
Release Date:
20 April 1931
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 27 March 1931
Copyright Claimant:
RKO-Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 April 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2155
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
72-73
Length(in feet):
6,493
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

To make ends meet, tough-minded Sarah Austin runs a boardinghouse in Holyoke, Massachusetts, while keeping an eye on Joe, her unemployed, weak-willed husband, and on Alice, her pretty teenage daughter. Displeased by Alice's attraction to Larry Owens, an earnest but impoverished inventor, Sarah encourages her daughter to date Bill Hepburn, who she believes comes from a well-to-do Boston family. When Larry catches Alice and Bill embracing, he displays his jealousy toward his assertive rival and causes Alice to quarrel with him. Joe, meanwhile, decides to invest in an oil drilling scheme promoted by Phelps, one of Sarah's boarders, and steals money from Sarah's secret cache to buy his share. After Sarah discovers her money missing, she suspects Vincentini, a broke boarder who paints portraits of cows, and calls the police. Before the police arrest the painter, however, Joe confesses his deed. Humiliated, Sarah cries and upbraids Joe, who leaves the boardinghouse the next morning determined to find a job. Later that evening, Bill and two other men try to kidnap Joe, mistaking him for Mr. Pennypacker, the local patriarch, and Bill is exposed and apprehended by the police. After he resigns himself to digging ditches, Joe is informed by his jubilant family that his well has struck oil. The suddenly rich Austins then visit Sarah's upper-class sister, Cassandra Palfrey, for a "coming out party" on her Long Island estate. During the party, Sarah becomes "silly" drunk, while Joe tries to interest Mr. Featherstone, a rubber magnate, in Larry's "whistling" tire valve invention, of which Joe is co-owner. Soon after, the Austins hear that their oil well has "dried up" and that ... +


To make ends meet, tough-minded Sarah Austin runs a boardinghouse in Holyoke, Massachusetts, while keeping an eye on Joe, her unemployed, weak-willed husband, and on Alice, her pretty teenage daughter. Displeased by Alice's attraction to Larry Owens, an earnest but impoverished inventor, Sarah encourages her daughter to date Bill Hepburn, who she believes comes from a well-to-do Boston family. When Larry catches Alice and Bill embracing, he displays his jealousy toward his assertive rival and causes Alice to quarrel with him. Joe, meanwhile, decides to invest in an oil drilling scheme promoted by Phelps, one of Sarah's boarders, and steals money from Sarah's secret cache to buy his share. After Sarah discovers her money missing, she suspects Vincentini, a broke boarder who paints portraits of cows, and calls the police. Before the police arrest the painter, however, Joe confesses his deed. Humiliated, Sarah cries and upbraids Joe, who leaves the boardinghouse the next morning determined to find a job. Later that evening, Bill and two other men try to kidnap Joe, mistaking him for Mr. Pennypacker, the local patriarch, and Bill is exposed and apprehended by the police. After he resigns himself to digging ditches, Joe is informed by his jubilant family that his well has struck oil. The suddenly rich Austins then visit Sarah's upper-class sister, Cassandra Palfrey, for a "coming out party" on her Long Island estate. During the party, Sarah becomes "silly" drunk, while Joe tries to interest Mr. Featherstone, a rubber magnate, in Larry's "whistling" tire valve invention, of which Joe is co-owner. Soon after, the Austins hear that their oil well has "dried up" and that their bank account has dwindled to nothing. Poor again, the Austins return to Holyoke, but before they reopen their boardinghouse, Joe receives a telegram from Featherstone informing him that Larry's tire valve idea has been bought and will be worth thousands and thousands of dollars. +

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.