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Friends of Mr. Sweeney

(1934 b 69')

En: 5 Ed: 4


Based on a novel by Elmer Davis, a writer ordered to a support a corrupt politician for governor is urged by an old friend to become his own man.

Franklyn Brumbaugh (Berton Churchill) tells Asaph Holliday (Charles Ruggles) to re-write his article on Europe in a more conservative way. Asaph orders lunch but is not served. Brumbaugh tells Asaph to write an editorial favoring his friend Steven Prime for governor even though Asaph says he is bad. Asaph is ordered to have Beulah (Ann Dvorak) change her clothes, and Brumbaugh sees her changing. Asaph shyly invites Beulah to dinner. At her apartment Asaph meets Alex Romanoff (Robert Barrat), who gives him gin. They go to a Russian restaurant, and Asaph wakes up with Alex in his bed. Alex says he will write against Prime, and Asaph promises to publish it. Prime (William B. Davidson) offers Alex $5,000 to leave the country; but Alex declines to be bribed and says he has evidence against Prime.

Prime tells Brumbaugh he wants to buy The Balance, but Countess Olga (Dorothy Tree) comes in and learns Brumbaugh is married. Beulah soothes Asaph's headache. Prime tells Olga they must get the letter Alex sent to Asaph. Wynn Rixey (Eugene Pallette) visits his old football buddy Asaph and gives him a drink. Asaph calls Beulah to get a tiger woman for Rixey. They get into a club as friends of Mr. Sweeney. Alex comes in, and Rixey threatens him. At roulette Asaph loses $15,000 without realizing it. Thinking it is $15, he bets double or nothing and wins. Brumbaugh and Olga come in. Olga assures Prime he will get the letter.

Thieves in the building go for silk first. Brumbaugh brings Olga to his office, and the burglars' elevator man holds a gun on them. At the club Rixey tells Asaph that he is no longer the man he was. Asaph kisses Beulah and goes to write the article. They take a car and leave Rixie drunk in the car. Men are loading silk. Asaph goes in and takes the gun, cutting the man's suspenders. Asaph writes the editorial against Prime. Drunk Rixie rings the fire alarm to call the elevator. Firemen and police arrive, but the burglar leaves with Olga. Prime tells Brumbaugh to look in the safe; but Asaph refuses and makes Prime put down his gun. In the final scene Asaph with Beulah orders lunch and throws it at the waiter who had denied him service.

This madcap comedy explores how a writer, who has allowed himself to be muzzled by corrupt interests, is stimulated to become assertive with melodramatic results.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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