Living on Love (1937)

60-61 mins | Romantic comedy | 12 November 1937

Director:

Lew Landers

Writer:

Franklin Coen

Producer:

Maury M. Cohen

Cinematographer:

Nicholas Musuraca

Editor:

Harry Marker

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

[ Editor's note : Living on Love was not viewed prior to the publication of its entry in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40. This entry was revised after a 2007 viewing of the film. ] The working title of this film was Love in a Basement . HR news items add Billy Lechner and Nicholas Kobliansky to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. RKO made an earlier version of Wells's novel called Rafter Romance (See Entry).
       Living on Love was one of several RKO films that, due to rights issues involving the estate of producer Merian C. Cooper, had not been shown theatrically or on television for decades. The films were broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable station in Apr 2007. For additional information about the rights issues, please see the entry above for the 1933 RKO production Double Harness ... More Less

[ Editor's note : Living on Love was not viewed prior to the publication of its entry in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40. This entry was revised after a 2007 viewing of the film. ] The working title of this film was Love in a Basement . HR news items add Billy Lechner and Nicholas Kobliansky to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. RKO made an earlier version of Wells's novel called Rafter Romance (See Entry).
       Living on Love was one of several RKO films that, due to rights issues involving the estate of producer Merian C. Cooper, had not been shown theatrically or on television for decades. The films were broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable station in Apr 2007. For additional information about the rights issues, please see the entry above for the 1933 RKO production Double Harness .
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 Oct 1937
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 Nov 1937
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 1937
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1937
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 1937
p. 30.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 1937
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1937
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 1937
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 2007
Calendar, p. 24.
Motion Picture Daily
30 Oct 1937
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
30 Oct 1937
p. 51.
Variety
3 Nov 1937
p. 14.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Love in a Basement
Release Date:
12 November 1937
Production Date:
5 August--late August 1937
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 November 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7579
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60-61
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3663
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When he discovers that he has no room for Russian acrobats Ivan and Nicolai Ghonoff, from whom he has already accepted rent money, Eli West, the proprietor of the Venus de Milo Arms apartment building, convinces indebted tenant Mary Wilson to vacate her room for the brothers and become the "invisible" roommate of another poor tenant, artist Gary Martin. Although skeptical, Mary agrees to Eli's terms, which stipulate that while Gary, who works at night in a "trucking concern," is at home during the day, she must stay away and allow fifteen minutes of "leeway" time before entering the basement apartment. After a short time, both Gary, who has just ended a relationship with Edith Crumwell, a sausage heiress, and Mary, recently employed to sell Aladdin Electric Shavers, become irritated by the other's bad habits and start to play pointed practical jokes on each other. One night, Gary, who has never seen Mary, unwittingly flirts with her in a neighborhood cafe and, after plotting roommate murder with her, makes a date for the next evening. Before the hour of rendezvous, however, Mary removes all of Gary's paintings and displays them during a wind storm as an exhibit of the "world's worst artist." By the time Gary has retrieved his art, he misses his date with Mary and runs into a jealous Edith, who then steals his recently completed portrait of Mary. Mary and Gary's practical jokes against each other escalate in outrageousness until both threaten Eli, who has heard from tenant Pete Ryan that Mary and Gary are dating, with moving. Then, while Gary and Mary are out eating doughnuts together, Ogilvie O. ... +


When he discovers that he has no room for Russian acrobats Ivan and Nicolai Ghonoff, from whom he has already accepted rent money, Eli West, the proprietor of the Venus de Milo Arms apartment building, convinces indebted tenant Mary Wilson to vacate her room for the brothers and become the "invisible" roommate of another poor tenant, artist Gary Martin. Although skeptical, Mary agrees to Eli's terms, which stipulate that while Gary, who works at night in a "trucking concern," is at home during the day, she must stay away and allow fifteen minutes of "leeway" time before entering the basement apartment. After a short time, both Gary, who has just ended a relationship with Edith Crumwell, a sausage heiress, and Mary, recently employed to sell Aladdin Electric Shavers, become irritated by the other's bad habits and start to play pointed practical jokes on each other. One night, Gary, who has never seen Mary, unwittingly flirts with her in a neighborhood cafe and, after plotting roommate murder with her, makes a date for the next evening. Before the hour of rendezvous, however, Mary removes all of Gary's paintings and displays them during a wind storm as an exhibit of the "world's worst artist." By the time Gary has retrieved his art, he misses his date with Mary and runs into a jealous Edith, who then steals his recently completed portrait of Mary. Mary and Gary's practical jokes against each other escalate in outrageousness until both threaten Eli, who has heard from tenant Pete Ryan that Mary and Gary are dating, with moving. Then, while Gary and Mary are out eating doughnuts together, Ogilvie O. Oglethorpe, Mary's adoring employer, arrives unexpectedly at the apartment. To impress Oglethorpe, Eli decides not to take him to Gary and Mary's room, but to the acrobats' more luxurious apartment. When Oglethorpe eyes a photograph of the acrobats' enormous weight-lifting mother, however, he runs from the room in terror, believing she is Mary's mother, and bumps into Edith on the front stairs. While Oglethorpe demonstrates the Aladdin Electric Massager on Edith, Mary and Gary, who have been using phony names and addresses with each other, try to part in front of their building without revealing their true residence. Unable to ditch each other, the couple finally goes to a cafe, where Mary spies her portrait adorning an advertisement for Crumwell sausages. Furious at the juxtaposition, Mary denounces Gary in the cafe, an attack overheard by Pete, her self-appointed bodyguard. After Pete knocks out Gary, Mary takes his unconscious body to her apartment and revives him. Although Gary quickly deduces Mary's identity, he pretends to be shocked by the presence of male clothes, a ruse that further confuses Eli, Oglethorpe and Edith. After all is revealed to Mary, she storms away in a huff but is stopped by Gary, who with Eli's help, has brought a minister to marry them. +

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.