Footloose Heiress The (1937)

Footloose Heiress The (1937)

This below average B movie romance comedy was directed by William Clemens produced by Brian Foy and written by Robertson White. While most will recognize Ann Sheridan (who thankfully found her way out of such B programmers) in the title role the rest of the cast is largely unknown (certainly to today’s audiences). It’s a fairly wacky story about the spoiled daughter (Sheridan) of an advertising executive (Hugh O’Connell) who gets some much needed help in his personal and professional life from a ‘forgotten man’ hobo (Craig Reynolds) who turns out to actually be the son of a famous Boston advertising agency owner (Wedgwood Nowell uncredited) himself. The best thing about this picture is the fact that it runs less than an hour.

Kay Allyn (Sheridan) has her father John C. or J.C. Allyn (O’Connell) wrapped around her finger; no mother character is ever introduced or mentioned so Allyn is a widower or divorced. Kay has threatened to marry a society boy with no means of supporting himself Jack Pierson (William Hopper) on a bet with another friend Wilbur (William Eberhardt). She’s just turned eighteen and though this ‘stunt’ is apparently one of several previously unsuccessful elopements she’s now old enough to do so without her father’s permission. But that doesn’t keep him from trying. When Kay’s frantic high speed chase to be married before midnight in order to win the bet is delayed by a train a hobo witnesses the episode and ends up saving her father’s life and upon learning the story stopping the wedding before Justice Abner Cuttler (Frank Orth). This endears the hobo named Bruce ‘Butch’ Baeder (Reynolds) to J.C. but naturally infuriates his daughter Kay and Jack (whose sister Linda is played by Anne Nagel).

Butch precedes in helping J.C. thwart any of Kay’s future plans to wed Jack (by sabotaging her car) but of course Jack and Kay will eventually be attracted to one another. Teddy Hart plays the Allyn’s chauffeur Charlie. J.C. also has a deadline to come up with some new material for his top client (Edwin Stanley uncredited) an automobile oil executive who wants to try radio advertisements so Butch helps him with that as well when his true identity is revealed. Apparently Butch had a falling out with his father in Boston had called him an old fogey so he’d decided to see the country by rail. There are more hijinks at the country club where Jack and Kay were to be engaged before all their friends but Butch attends ostensibly with Linda on his arm (but this is a contrived event to begin the eventual two’s relationship). Out of spite Kay tells her father that Butch’s advertising copy is awful and Butch’s own father (per the falling out) denies he even has a son by phone. So Butch heads to Boston as a hobo by train again but by now J.C. has learned that his client loves the “Dirty Dan & Ping Ping” routine and Kay’s decided she loves the ‘bum’. There’s another run in with Justice Cuttler before an unexplainable escape and the predictable ending hookup between the two lead characters.

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