Movie Mirrors Index

One Sunday Afternoon

(1933 b 69')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a play by James Hagan, a dentist wishes he had married someone else; but years later he realizes he loves his wife better.

Dentist Biff Grimes (Gary Cooper) sings and drinks with his friend Snappy Downer (Roscoe Karns); but his wife Amy (Frances Fuller) tells them to stop the noise. Snappy says that Biff should have married Virginia; but Hugo Barnstead took her away. Hugo (Neil Hamilton) comes in to have a tooth pulled. Biff gives him nitrous oxide gas. They remember the past at a park.

A young Amy tells Virginia (Fay Wray) that she was in love with Biff in school. Hugo has arranged a double date with them; but Biff chooses Virginia. While Biff is winning a contest chasing a pig, Hugo goes off with Virginia. Biff fights a man for mentioning Virginia's name. Biff arranges to get Virginia's picnic basket; but she tells him to see Amy while defending Hugo. Biff gets in another fight and is told to leave. Virginia calls Biff a bully and doesn't want to see him. He names a time; but Virginia marries Hugo. Amy finds Biff waiting for Virginia. People tell Biff that Virginia married Hugo. Amy says she is engaged to Biff, and they decide to get married that night.

Two years later Hugo returns to be Biff's boss. Biff says that Amy's mother can live with them. Amy cooks a nice dinner on their anniversary, but Biff forgot. Hugo and Virginia come in and invite them to their hotel for a fancy dinner. Hugo offers Biff a chance to make money; but Biff doesn't want to spy on fellow employees. Biff and Amy stay home, as Biff does not like Hugo putting on airs. The next day Biff gets fired by Hugo from the factory as "incompetent." Biff welcomes Amy's mother. Biff asks Hugo for his job back but won't give him names. Biff fights with a security guard, and a gun goes off, wounding the guard. Matt arrests Biff at home, but Biff tells Amy something else. Biff is sentenced to two years in prison. Amy sends him a dentistry lesson when Snappy visits him. Biff returns to Amy.

Biff turns down the oxygen on Hugo. An elegantly dressed Virginia comes in and suggests Biff put Hugo out of his misery; but to the relief of Snappy, Biff revives Hugo with oxygen and pulls the tooth. Virginia asks Biff about Amy. Biff says Hugo does not owe him anything. Hugo and Virginia go out arguing. Biff laughs. Amy tells Biff he makes a fool of himself when he drinks. Biff tells Amy that she is sweet and beautiful.

Though he has his own violent tendencies, the shy Biff comes to realize that Amy's sincere love is precious compared to the crassness of Hugo and Virginia.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index