Based on the E.Phillips Oppenheim novel. Cary Grant stars as a bored playboy in London who makes a bet that he can survive on his own without any money for a year.
Ernest Bliss is bored. His friend Ronnie says he should see Sir James Alroyd. The doctor has had it with rich patients who don’t have anything really wrong with them. He tells Bliss that his problem is too much money and self indulgence. When Bliss is about to leave Alroyd won’t shake hands with him. He tells him he should see his clinic in the East End to check out what really goes on.
Bliss makes him a bet. If he can live on his own for a year without using his money then Alroyd owes him an apology and a handshake. If he loses then he’ll give him fifty thousand pounds for the clinic. The bet is on. Bliss will leave his expensive flat with only five pounds.
Bliss tells Crawley the butler to look out for his cigars and expensive wine. Crawley wonders what he’ll do on his own for twelve months. Bliss leaves with just one small suitcase.
He finally finds an attic room to rent from a kindly landlady. He pounds the pavement for three weeks and can’t find a job. Now he owes two weeks rent. She lets him stay. At last he gets a job. It’s selling stoves for the Alpha company run by Mr.Masters. Secretary Frances Clayton (Mary Brian) doesn’t think much of him. Once again he pounds the pavement and can’t sell a single stove.
Bliss gets a brainstorm. He’ll need five hundred pounds of his own money. He doesn’t lose the bet because he’s not using it for his own benefit. He opens a soup kitchen and advertises that everything was made with Alpha Stoves. A buyer is so impressed he orders a hundred stoves and says that’s just the start. By this time Bliss and Frances are romantically linked.
Masters is grateful to him for saving his business and wants to make him a partner. Bliss quits knowing he can’t take him up on it. His next job is driving for a livery company using the name Brown. One night in his chauffeur’s uniform he runs into Ronnie and his former girlfriend Clare. They don’t understand what’s going on.
His boss Mr.Dorrington asks him to stop by his flat. Bliss is shocked to hear him tell him the address. It’s his. When he goes there Dorrington says Crawley lost a lot of money on the dog races and has started drinking. He was bored with nothing to do. He rented the place to Dorrington for a nominal fee.
Dorrington and his henchman are smoking Bliss’s cigars and drinking his wine. He takes a picture of Bliss from a drawer and comments on how much alike he and Brown are to each other. He has a check for thirty thousand pounds that he singed Bliss’s name to. He wants Brown to cash it at the bank.
The bank teller recognizes Bliss and asks if he really signed the check since the signature doesn’t look anything like his. Bliss knew that would happen and puts a plan into action.
There’s more crisis to come including a break up with Frances. She’s disappeared after agreeing to marrying him.
The movie works its way to a feel good ending but in this case it all works. This is one definitely worth checking out.
Mary Brian made a lot of movies. The last part in her career was as Janet Archer, mother of Corliss in the TV series “Meet Corliss Archer” (1954-55). She did a lot of stage work and spent her retirement as a portrait painter.