Beggars In Ermine (1934)

Lionel Atwill-Henry B.Walthall

Lionel Atwill-Henry B.Walthall

Lionel Atwill is the head of a steel mill who gets rooked out of control by his assistant who is in favor of merging with a big combo. He will get his revenge….no matter how long it takes.

The workers in the mill have the a lot of respect for their boss John “Flint” Dawson. He eats lunch with them and even invests their savings in mill stock so they’ll have a future. His assistant James Marley wants him to sell to a big combo but he’s afraid it will have a negative effect on the old time workers.

Marley fires a crane operator for drunkenness. He blamed it on Dawson. Then he tells the man he can work one more night and reminds him that Dawson has a habit of walking around the warehouse. The operator takes the opportunity to drop hot steel on Dawson resulting in the loss of his legs. Then the operator died from a fall from the crane.

Marley is having an affair with Dawson’s wife and wants her to go away with him. She hesitates because of their six year old daughter. Meanwhile Dawson is recovering in the hospital. He signs over power of attorney to his wife. Three months go by and he expects his wife to show up and take him home. Then he learns she’s taken off for England with Marley and her daughter. Marley convinced her to sell the family stocks and complete the merger.

Dawson asks to be moved into a ward so he has people to talk to. He meets a blind man named Marchant (Henry B.Walthall). The two team up. Marchant sells sheet music while playing accordion and Dawson is in a wheel chair and sells pamphlets. Dawson forms a nationwide organization of street vendors and invests a portion of their earnings to make their lives better.

Marley’s nephew Lee comes to town and Marley makes him company secretary. He’s engaged to Joyce (Betty Furness) who turns out to be Dawson’s daughter. She doesn’t have a clue who her father is. All she knows is that she’s had a guardian named John Daniels. Her mother killed herself years ago in England.

Now that fifteen years have gone by Dawson decides to come out of the shadows and put his plan of revenge into operation. He doesn’t know that Lee and Joyce followed an attorney to a meeting at his house. They eavesdrop and get a big surprise.

The movie is typical of the era and is worth checking out. It’s nice to see Atwill in a non horror picture.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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