Doubting Thomas (1935)

73 or 78 mins | Comedy | 7 June 1935

Director:

David Butler

Cinematographer:

Joseph Valentine

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Torch Bearers. Twentieth Century-Fox produced a film in 1939 entitled Too Busy to Work which was partially based on the same source (see entry). According to a modern source, Dave O'Brien played a member of the audience. ...

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The working title of this film was The Torch Bearers. Twentieth Century-Fox produced a film in 1939 entitled Too Busy to Work which was partially based on the same source (see entry). According to a modern source, Dave O'Brien played a member of the audience.

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
General (mod):
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1935
p. 3
Daily Variety
9 Mar 1935
p. 2
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1935
p. 3
Film Daily
11 Jul 1935
p. 8
HF
9 Mar 1935
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1935
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1935
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 1935
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
14 Apr 1935
p. 4
Motion Picture Herald
30 Mar 1935
p. 51
Motion Picture Herald
20 Apr 1935
p. 34
New York Times
11 Jul 1935
p. 24
Variety
17 Jul 1935
p. 27
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Torch Bearers
Release Date:
7 June 1935
Production Date:
6 Feb--8 or 9 Mar 1935
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Fox Film Corp.
7 June 1935
LP5596
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73 or 78
Length(in feet):
6,632
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
720
SYNOPSIS

When Rudolph La Maze, representing Hollywood Screen Test Service, Inc., comes to town to induce the local residents who have latent acting ambitions to make a screen test, for the "nominal" fee of seventy-five dollars, beautician Peggy Burns calls her boyfriend Jimmy Brown and asks to borrow the money. After he refuses and she hangs up on him, his father Thomas, the president of Brown's Breakfast Sausages, commends him and relates that Jimmy's mother Paula had the acting bug when they met, but that he was able to get her to marry him instead and become a housewife. When Thomas returns from a convention, he learns, to his dismay, that both Peggy and Paula are rehearsing for the upcoming local play. Peggy won't speak to Jimmy, and Thomas' arguments against the endeavor fail to dissuade Paula, who is encouraged by the praise of the director, the pompous Mrs. Pampinelli, who blames her own failure as an actress on her marriage. After seeing Peggy dance in the screen test, which La Maze gives for free because he says he is impressed with her talent, Thomas gets an idea to resolve the situation and tells Jimmy that he plans to see La Maze the next day. At the opening night party for the play, Thomas tells a gossipy woman a rumor that the famous Hollywood director Von Blitzen is stopping in town to see the tests, and soon the news is spread throughout the party. During the play, the actors overact, cues are missed, props are missing, a mustache falls off repeatedly, backstage arguments interrupt the acting, lines are forgotten, an actor faints, the set almost ...

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When Rudolph La Maze, representing Hollywood Screen Test Service, Inc., comes to town to induce the local residents who have latent acting ambitions to make a screen test, for the "nominal" fee of seventy-five dollars, beautician Peggy Burns calls her boyfriend Jimmy Brown and asks to borrow the money. After he refuses and she hangs up on him, his father Thomas, the president of Brown's Breakfast Sausages, commends him and relates that Jimmy's mother Paula had the acting bug when they met, but that he was able to get her to marry him instead and become a housewife. When Thomas returns from a convention, he learns, to his dismay, that both Peggy and Paula are rehearsing for the upcoming local play. Peggy won't speak to Jimmy, and Thomas' arguments against the endeavor fail to dissuade Paula, who is encouraged by the praise of the director, the pompous Mrs. Pampinelli, who blames her own failure as an actress on her marriage. After seeing Peggy dance in the screen test, which La Maze gives for free because he says he is impressed with her talent, Thomas gets an idea to resolve the situation and tells Jimmy that he plans to see La Maze the next day. At the opening night party for the play, Thomas tells a gossipy woman a rumor that the famous Hollywood director Von Blitzen is stopping in town to see the tests, and soon the news is spread throughout the party. During the play, the actors overact, cues are missed, props are missing, a mustache falls off repeatedly, backstage arguments interrupt the acting, lines are forgotten, an actor faints, the set almost falls over, and Paula trips upon entering and exiting the stage. Afterwards, Thomas severely criticizes Paula. In tears, she tells Thomas, whom she denounces as having no culture, that she now wants to pursue an acting career in New York. At the screening of the tests, Von Blitzen castigates all of the hopefuls as having no talent for acting, and he advises them to stick to their own businesses. As Jimmy comforts Peggy outside and they kiss, Von Blitzen views a test of Thomas, made up as a crooner, singing a love song in the style of some of the popular crooners, including Bing Crosby. Greatly excited, Von Blitzen says that Thomas could be a new personality and pleads with him to sign a contract and leave with him in an hour on the train to Hollywood. Outside, Thomas pays off Von Blitzen, really an actor from a nearby show who agreed to help him out. As Thomas packs to leave, he reminds Paula, who is greatly upset, of her view that an acting career is of greater importance than business or family. Meanwhile, Jimmy, to cheer Peggy up, tells her about the ruse. Outraged, she tells Paula, but Paula realizes that Thomas must love her a great deal to have devised the scheme. She gives up her ambitions to have an acting career and says that it takes a good actress to be a successful wife. She also tells Peggy that her opinion of Thomas changed when she saw the screen test because, she says, he was good. Thomas and Paula reconcile, but he says that although he'll remain in a career linked with sausages, he still is going to croon from time to time.

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

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