The Show-Off (1934 film)

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The Show-Off
The Show Off 1934.JPG
Lobby card
Written byGeorge Kelly (play)
Herman J. Mankiewicz (screenplay)
StarringSpencer Tracy
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Edited byWilliam S. Gray
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
CountryUnited States
Box office$397,000[1][2]

The Show-Off is a 1934 film, notable for being the first movie Spencer Tracy made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Based on the hit play by George Kelly, it made a profit of $78,000.[1] Previously filmed twice by Paramount Pictures in 1926 and 1930, MGM remade the film in 1946, starring Red Skelton and Marilyn Maxwell.


Out sailing one day, J. Aubrey Piper saves a man from drowning. He overhears an impressed Amy Fisher's remark and looks her up in New Jersey, irritating her family with his constant bragging but winning Amy, who marries him.

A humble railroad clerk, Aubrey keeps pretending to be a more important man. He spends lavishly, piling up so much debt that he and Amy must move in with her parents. He gets fired by his boss Preston for making a wild offer on a piece of land, overstepping his authority by far.

Amy is fed up and intends to leave him. Aubrey runs into her brother Joe, an inventor whose rust-prevention idea has received a firm offer of $5,000. Aubrey goes to the firm and demands Joe get $100,000 plus a 50% ownership interest. The company rescinds its offer entirely.

Everybody's fed up with Aubrey, but suddenly Joe rushes home to say the company's changed its mind, offering him $50,000 plus 20%. And the railroad property paid off, too, so Aubrey's offered his old job back, with a raise. He knows how lucky he's been and that he should just shut up, but he just can't.


Radio adaptation[edit]

The Show-Off was adapted twice for radio by Lux Radio Theater. The first broadcast was on September 12, 1935, starring Joe E. Brown; the second was on February 2, 1943, starring Harold Peary.


  1. ^ a b c James Curtis, Spencer Tracy: A Biography, Alfred Knopf, 2011 p231
  2. ^ a b The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.

External links[edit]