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The Merry Frinks

(1934 b 68')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A family that depends on the mother and has numerous problems changes their attitudes after she leaves with an inheritance.

In the Frinks family Elmer (Allen Jenkins) blames the capitalists and moves his law office there. A truant officer tells Mom Hattie Frink (Aline MacMahon) that Norman has missed school for three weeks, hanging out with a gang. Joe Frink (Hugh Herbert) comes home drunk. Lucille Frink (Helen Lowell) practices singing, and two Russians arrive to consult with Elmer. Oliver calls on Lucille. Joe says he lost his job, and Grandma (Helen Howell) complains often. Mom calls to get Joe his job back and finds Norman gambling.

Uncle Newton (Guy Kibbee) arrives from New Zealand with trunks and a stuffed alligator. Mom gets Roses from Oliver for Mother's Day. Oliver asks Lucille to marry but does not get a good-night kiss. Mom finds Joe in a bar playing poker and warns him he will not get another job. She works afternoons and brings Norman a coat. Elmer rehearses a political speech. Joe comes in and puts his bottle in the alligator's mouth, and Grandma tries to get it. Uncle Newton cooks a Javanese dinner for his birthday, eats it all, and is taken to the hospital. Grandma is glad after his funeral. At Christmas Lucille lies to Oliver so she can go out with her agent Benny (Harold Huber). Norman is going to box. Mom tells Benny that Lucille has no voice. Elmer goes out with a sign to picket. A charity basket is brought, and Mom throws them out. Joe comes in drunk, having lost his job. Mom says what she has done and cries; but she learns that Uncle Newton left her $500,000 if she has nothing to do with her family. She agrees and leaves.

Mom Frink buys nice clothes, and her maid tells her to go out and calls Ramon (Ivan Lebedeff). Hattie (Mom) dances with Ramon, who calls his girlfriend and persuades Hattie to go to Palm Beach. At the Frink home Joe and Grandma complain, and the Russians bust up Joe's office, making him a capitalist. Norman says he won a fight and bought a car; but police tell him he must go to court for stealing. Grandma says they need Mom, and they get a cab. Oliver tells Lucille he is taking her as his wife. The family finds Mom at the airport, and she gets off the plane. In the final scene they all admit they were wrong.

This comedy presents the numerous problems of the poor, but their lives are drastically altered by an absurdly large will from the uncle who never has any money, making the family realize that Mom held them together. When she agrees to return, magically they all realize they have been wrong.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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