American Madness poster
|Directed by||Frank Capra|
|Produced by||Frank Capra
|Written by||Robert Riskin|
|Music by||Mischa Bakaleinikoff (uncredited)
Karl Hajos (uncredited)
|Edited by||Maurice Wright|
American Madness is a 1932 American film directed by Frank Capra and starring Walter Huston as a New York banker embroiled in scandal. The story thematically anticipates Capra's 1946 classic It's a Wonderful Life, in which Capra repeats the "run on the bank" scene. This was also Sterling Holloway's feature-film debut.
In the Great Depression era, the Board of Directors of Thomas Dickson's bank want Dickson (Walter Huston) to merge with New York Trust and resign. He refuses. One night, Dickson's bank is robbed of $100,000. The suspect is Matt Brown (Pat O'Brien), an ex-convict whom Dickson hired and appointed Chief Teller. Brown, who's very loyal to Dickson, refuses to say where he was that night. He actually has two witnesses for his alibi, Mrs. Dickson (Kay Johnson) and fellow worker Cyril Cluett (Gavin Gordon), but Brown is protecting Dickson from finding out that Mrs. Dickson was with Cluett having a romantic evening. Cluett, who has a $50,000 gambling debt, is actually responsible for the robbery, but lets Brown take the rap.
Word of the robbery causes a run on the bank, but friends of the banker come to his aid, and the bank is saved.
Cast (in credits order)
- Walter Huston as Dickson
- Pat O'Brien as Matt
- Kay Johnson as Mrs Dickson
- Constance Cummings as Helen
- Gavin Gordon as Cluett
- Arthur Hoyt as Ives
- Robert Emmett O'Connor as Inspector
- The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1931-40 by The American Film Institute, c.1993
- American Madness at the Internet Movie Database
- Six Screen Plays by Robert Riskin, Edited and Introduced by Pat McGilligan, Berkeley: University of California Press, c1997 1997 - Free Online - UC Press E-Books Collection
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