Beg Borrow or Steal (1937)

Beg Borrow or Steal (1937)

Frank Morgan plays a cheap “snizler” Ingraham Steward operating out of the South of France. His estranged wife Agatha (Janet Beecher) and daughter Joyce (Florence Rice) are just “getting by” in the States on what he sends but his daughter is engaged to a “well to do” young man Horace Miller (Tom Rutherford). His wife and the wealthy mother (Cora Witherspoon) of the young man are arguing about where to have the wedding. The wealthy woman wants to invite 63 guests whereas his wife would rather have it in their modest home. The young man she’s engaged to is an accountant-type of person logical but without passion and seemingly emotionless. Morgan sends a letter saying he can’t come to the wedding and writes with the bravura that is his character’s style that it’s “too bad they can’t be married on the Riviera” where he lives. The wealthy couple (the husband is played by Harlan Briggs) jumps all over this idea and gives the trip (to France) for all as their wedding gift. Of course no one knows the father is not the person he’s made himself out to be.

Morgan must now scramble to come up with something. Working with his other nefarious (?) friends he agrees to do something dishonest sell a forged painting in order to get enough money to set-up appearances. He then approaches the manager (John Beal) of an estate whose occupant (Herman Bing) is hunting in Ireland for a month. He convinces the manager who initially refuse to consider the idea and is wise to him to help when he comes clean about his predicament and shows the manager a picture of his daughter. When the daughter arrives the manager falls in love with her. He then tries to win her. Morgan has invited his phony friends to come pretending to be Counts and Dukes etc. in order to impress his future in laws. Of course the Lord who rents the estate returns from his hunting trip early such that the true identity of Morgan and the manager is revealed. A happy ending results after much consternation.

E.E. Clive Reginald Denny and Vladimir Sokoloff among others appear.

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