The Family Next Door (1939)

the family next door 1939

Comedy about the misadventures of the Pierce Family. George Pierce calls himself the one trip plumber. He and wife have two boys, Rufus and Sammy and two daughters, Susan and Laura. It slides by for an hour and is some hokey fun. Nothing to make a bee line to see. The curious may want to check it out because of Hugh Herbert, one of the top comics of the 30’s and 50’s.

Laura (Joy Hodges) is waiting for her date Harold Warner. He’s a science student. While waiting she practices singing. Rufus can’t stand her shrieks while doing scales and turns on his favorite science radio program. They argue back and forth until Mom gets some kind of peace.

George (Hugh Herbert) comes home from his shop. His wife wants to make an impression on Harold so she tells him to move the car from in front of the house. The family sits down to dinner when Sammy comes home. He says he just saw Harold at the gas station and he’s not coming over. He’s having dinner at the Dean’s house.

Sammy is all excited that his rich friend Bill Trevis let him know that the railroad is building a sub station outside of town. He wants George to sell bonds he’d been saving so Sammy can buy the land and make a killing selling it to the railroad. George doesn’t want to take a chance.

To try and impress Blil, George takes up golf. Things aren’t going well. At the country club George and Bill are going to play a round. Rufus is the caddy. It ends up being five bucks a hole. Bill makes a nice tee shot. Lucky for George it starts to rain and the game is off. Inside the club, spoiled rich girl Jane tries to impress Bill. Outside she invites him to a party at her house. Laura sends mother to the rescue. She says a party has been scheduled at her house. Too bad Jane can’t make it because it’s the same night as hers.

At the bank Sammy and Mom spot rich Cora Stewart making a ten thousand dollar withdrawal. She’s Bill’s aunt. Mom reluctantly agrees to sell the bonds so Sammy can buy some land before Cora gets it all. Mom makes Sammy promise not to tell George.

It’s party night. Mrs.Pierce has gone all out to impress Bill and Cora. She’s rented expensive furniture and a new piano and even hires a maid named Blossom for the event. Rufus and Susan aren’t happy they have to stay out of the way upstairs and go to bed. Rufus has plans.

The guesst are wearing funny hats and playing musical chairs. While Blossom is getting some glasses from a cabinet Rufus sneaks in with a box and takes a lot of food. He’s having a party of his own upstairs as his friends come through the window. The noise can’t be heard downstairs but Susan hears it and joins them. They aren’t happy but she and the family dog are there to stay. Of course things get out of hand…way out of hand.

To make matters worse the land is found to be quicksand.  The family is in real trouble now. It has the usual feel good resolution but that’s how these movies always go.  All in all not that bad and it does follow the formula of nice family gets into hopeless situation and it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Benny Bartlett as Rufus is up to no good

Benny Bartlett as Rufus is up to no good


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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