The Working Man
is a 1933 American comedy film
directed by John G. Adolfi
. The screenplay
by Charles Kenyon and Maude T. Howell is based on the story The Adopted Father
by Edgar Franklin.
Wealthy shoe magnate
John Reeves finds himself without motivation when his chief rival dies. Needing a change of scenery, he leaves the business in the hands of his conceited nephew Benjamin and heads off on a fishing vacation in Maine
, where he meets Jenny and Tommy Hartland, the fun-loving brother and sister heirs to his deceased competitor's firm, which is close to bankruptcy
Pretending to be penniless hobo John Walton, he gets himself hired to work in their factory, which he discovers is being mismanaged by Fred Pettison. He soon makes dramatic changes in its operation that greatly improve its financial standing, and has himself appointed a trustee of the Hartland estate in order to force Jenny and Tommy to learn some responsibility.
Tommy begins working at his own company while his sister, anxious to find out why their shoes are less popular than those manufactured by Reeves, takes a job with the other comany under the assumed name of Jane Grey. She finds herself attracted to Benjamin, unaware he's involved in an ongoing battle with his uncle, who hopes to teach him a few lessons about running a business by keeping him on his toes. Benjamin discovers Jane's true identity and, assuming she was spying on the company, ends their relationship. Reeves sets him straight, and the two companies merge.
The Warner Bros.
release marked the second pairing of George Arliss
and Bette Davis
, who co-starred in The Man Who Played God
the year before.
The film had its world premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The 1936 film 20th Century Fox film Everybody's Old Man was based on the same source.
- George Arliss ..... John Reeves
- Bette Davis ..... Jenny Hartland, aka Jane Grey
- Theodore Newton ..... Tommy Hartland
- Hardie Albright ..... Benjamin Burnett
- Gordon Westcott ..... Fred Pettison
- J. Farrell MacDonald ..... Henry Davis
Principal production credits
In his review in the New York Times
, Mordaunt Hall described the film as "breezy but somewhat shallow" and added, "George Arliss offers an ingratiating charactier study in a role that suits him . . . Quite a number of [his] lines are humorous and there is no denying that the actor uses them most effectively. Bette Davis, whose diction is music to the ears, does good work in the role of Jenny."
TV Guide calls it "A thoroughly enjoyable piece of entertainment which serves no other purpose than to put a smile on your face."