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The Bachelor Father

(1931 b 91')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a play by Edward Childs Carpenter, an aging bachelor meets his three grown children by different women and likes them.

In England Dr. MacDonald (David Torrence) says Sir Basil Winterton (C. Aubrey Smith) is self-indulgent and suggests he help his children. Basil asks John Ashley (Ralph Forbes) to write to two and find the other in New York. John meets pilot Dick Berney (Guinn Williams) and invites Toni Flagg (Marion Davies) to her father in London. She agrees and is given expense money, giving some to her late mother's dresser, Mrs. Berney (Elizabeth Murray). Mrs. Berney tells her son Dick that Toni is not Basil's daughter; his daughter died.

Toni mistakenly kisses the butler (Halliwell Hobbes) and meets her sister Maria ((Nina Quartero) and brother Geoffrey (Ray Milland). Basil comes in with fish, and Toni thinks he is selling them. Geoffrey, Maria, and Toni form a union. Geoffrey is a musician. Toni insults Mrs. Webb (Doris Lloyd) and Basil. Basil learns that her mother Nancy died. They shake hands, and the three agree to stay a month. In pajamas Toni asks Basil if John is married and says Mrs. Webb is a "man-eater." Toni helps Basil upstairs to say goodnight. Dick lands his plane on the lawn, and Toni makes Basil go riding. They control Basil's diet by his doctor's orders.

In New York a lawyer questions Mrs. Berney about Toni. Toni, Maria, and Geoffrey approve of Basil as a father. He gives Toni a diamond watch, Maria a necklace, and Geoffrey 5 pounds. Toni flirts with John and kisses him. Dick gives Toni a note from his mother. Toni realizes she is not Basil's daughter. Maria tells Basil she got an opera role, and Geoffrey is going home to care for his mother. Basil tells Toni the others are going, and he is glad she is staying, asking her to call him father. The lawyer calls on Basil and says his daughter is dead. John gives Toni an engagement ring. Basil tells Mrs. Webb about Toni. Toni admits she knew but was afraid to say. She gives the ring back to John and tells Basil she loves him but made a mistake.

Toni asks Dick to take her on his flight to New York; his mechanics don't think they'll make it. John admits to Basil he is a fool and defends Toni. Basil learns that Toni is flying and listens on the radio. The plane takes off but crashes in the trees. Dick is all right, and Toni's body is recovered. Basil gets a telegram from Toni saying good-bye, and she is carried in by John. Basil tells Toni she belongs there and that he wants to adopt her. She tells him she is getting married and will be his daughter during the day and John's wife in the evening.

In this sentimental story an English lord finds comfort rather late from his children, but the real affection of one shows that love is not based on blood.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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