Two Bright Boys (1939)

69 mins | Drama | 15 September 1939

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HISTORY

The working titles for this picture were Bad Company , Forgotten Boys and Bright Victory . It was the second collaboration of actors Tom Brown, Jackie Cooper, Joseph Santley and Burt Kelly; their first picture was Universal's 1939 picture Spirit of Culver . Although the onscreen credits list Robert Pritchard as sound technician, the copyright records credit William Fox in that position. According to a news item in HR , the film was shot on location at the Municipal Airport in Los Angeles, ... More Less

The working titles for this picture were Bad Company , Forgotten Boys and Bright Victory . It was the second collaboration of actors Tom Brown, Jackie Cooper, Joseph Santley and Burt Kelly; their first picture was Universal's 1939 picture Spirit of Culver . Although the onscreen credits list Robert Pritchard as sound technician, the copyright records credit William Fox in that position. According to a news item in HR , the film was shot on location at the Municipal Airport in Los Angeles, CA. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Sep 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Sep 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 39
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Sep 39
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Aug 39
p. 86.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Sep 39
p. 46.
New York Times
22 Sep 39
p. 27.
Variety
20 Sep 39
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd tech
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit publicity
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Bright Victory
Forgotten Boys
Bad Company
Release Date:
15 September 1939
Production Date:
15 May--mid June 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
8 September 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9106
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5553
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Young Rory O'Donnell and his widowed mother Kathleen are trying desperately to complete the drilling of an wildcat oil well on their rundown farm in Texas. The O'Donnells face opposition from Bill Hallitt, a ruthless oil baron who is determined to seize the land for himself. Hallitt's opportunity presents itself in the form of Hilary Harrington, an Englishman who lives by his wits. When the oil baron catches Hilary cheating in a card game, Hallitt offers him and his son David the choice of going to jail or working for him to steal the O'Donnell's land. Father and son reluctantly choose the latter and to pass themselves off as Londoners with banking connections in order to acquire the claim to the well. David wins Rory's confidence by saving the well when an accident threatens destruction, and the families become good friends. With his last penny spent, Rory mortgages Hilary the land for $3,000 and Hilary signs the note over to Hallitt. As Hallitt anxiously waits to foreclose, Hilary and David pitch in to help Rory while sending false reports to Hallitt about the progress of the well. On the night that Rory's driller, Mike Casey, discovers the cap rock layer that covers the oil, Hallitt learns of their progress and orders his men to wreck the O'Donnells' rig and equipment. Furious at the Harringtons' deception, Rory orders them off his land. In hopes of bringing in the oil before Hallitt can foreclose on the note, Mike detonates the well, and perishes in the explosion. Determined to risk everything to make up for the trouble they have caused, Hilary and ... +


Young Rory O'Donnell and his widowed mother Kathleen are trying desperately to complete the drilling of an wildcat oil well on their rundown farm in Texas. The O'Donnells face opposition from Bill Hallitt, a ruthless oil baron who is determined to seize the land for himself. Hallitt's opportunity presents itself in the form of Hilary Harrington, an Englishman who lives by his wits. When the oil baron catches Hilary cheating in a card game, Hallitt offers him and his son David the choice of going to jail or working for him to steal the O'Donnell's land. Father and son reluctantly choose the latter and to pass themselves off as Londoners with banking connections in order to acquire the claim to the well. David wins Rory's confidence by saving the well when an accident threatens destruction, and the families become good friends. With his last penny spent, Rory mortgages Hilary the land for $3,000 and Hilary signs the note over to Hallitt. As Hallitt anxiously waits to foreclose, Hilary and David pitch in to help Rory while sending false reports to Hallitt about the progress of the well. On the night that Rory's driller, Mike Casey, discovers the cap rock layer that covers the oil, Hallitt learns of their progress and orders his men to wreck the O'Donnells' rig and equipment. Furious at the Harringtons' deception, Rory orders them off his land. In hopes of bringing in the oil before Hallitt can foreclose on the note, Mike detonates the well, and perishes in the explosion. Determined to risk everything to make up for the trouble they have caused, Hilary and David forge Hallitt's name on a check to buy new equipment and order it delivered to the O'Donnell ranch. Just as Rory brings in his gusher, the sheriff comes to arrest Hilary for forgery. As he leads Hilary away, the sheriff suggests to him that the law will be lenient because of Hallitt's crooked schemes, and Kathleen tells Hilary that she will be waiting his return. +

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.