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Five and Ten

(1931 b 89')

En: 4 Ed: 5

Adapted from a novel by Fannie Hurst, the daughter of a wealthy merchant falls in love with a man who is engaged to someone else.

Rich 5-and-10 owner John Rarick (Richard Bennett) moves his family from Kansas City to New York and tells his biographer he got money from his wife Jenny (Irene Rich), who is so lonely she is seeing Ramon (Lee Beranger). Jennifer Rarick (Marion Davies) asks her father for $5,000 for charity and gets it. At a charity booth Berry Rhodes (Leslie Howard) gives Jennifer $50 for kisses and gets a box of them. Jennifer tells her brother Avery (Douglass Montgomery) she is going to marry Berry. She sees Berry on the street and tells a taxi driver to run into him. Berry gives Jennifer a cocktail and draws a picture for her. Berry's fiancé Muriel Preston (Mary Duncan) comes in, and Jennifer leaves.

Jennifer tells her father she has an architect for his tower building; but he says no at first. Jennifer makes Berry work on the plans, and he kisses her. Jennifer asks him to marry her. Muriel tells Jennifer that she will never buy Berry, and he complains to Jennifer that she told Muriel. Berry calls Jennifer "a cheap, rich girl." Avery tells his father that they are not a happy family anymore. Avery sees his mother go out, while his father talks business. Avery drinks with the butler Hopkins (Halliwell Hobbes). Jennifer finds Avery drunk and says she is miserable.

Berry weds Muriel, and Jennifer catches the bouquet. Berry with a suitcase sees Jennifer in the garden and says good-bye to her. At the dedication John Rarick thanks the architects. Berry sees Jennifer and kisses her. They are stranded all night on the roof. Ramon calls Jenny to take the boat. She asks her husband if they can go on a trip; he suggests Jennifer and says he is busy. Jennifer intercepts a check for $100,000 her father writes to Muriel. Rarick tells Jennifer not to see Berry again. Avery catches Jennifer sneaking in the morning after; he finds his mother's note to his father that she is leaving him, while Jennifer is telling Berry she will go with him. Jennifer packs, and Avery wanders out. Hopkins gives Rarick the note, and he also learns he has become the leading merchant in the world. Avery flies a plane down into trees. In the hospital Avery asks for his mother. Jenny comes in and hugs John, and he denies he read her note. Avery wants the family to be together. Jennifer comes in, and Avery dies. In the final scene the Raricks and Jennifer are leaving on a ship. Jennifer sees Berry waving good-bye and reads his note about his divorce, asking if he can follow.

This story suggests that the very rich may be too busy to enjoy a happy family life. Spoiled Jennifer has trouble getting what she wants.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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