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Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch

(1934 b 80')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Alice Megan Rice's novel and Anne Crawford Flexner's play, a poor woman with five children receives timely help from a young couple.

Mrs. Wiggs (Pauline Lord) promises her children a Thanksgiving dinner. Her husband went to the Klondike for gold. Neighbor Miss Hazy (Zasu Pitts) gives Mrs. Wiggs carrots. Billy Wiggs (Jimmy Butler) tells his mother he got a horse so she can revive him. They warm the horse. Sick Jimmy Wiggs (George P. Breakston) prays with his dog. Children cheer the standing horse. Lucy (Evelyn Venable) has her maid put nineteen cooked turkeys in baskets. Newspaper editor Bob Redding (Kent Taylor) finds Dick drunk but drinks water to which Dick added alcohol. Lucy goes to Cabbage Patch and gives Mrs. Wiggs a turkey and will send pine-tar for Jimmy. Lucy rejects Bob for being late and smelling of alcohol. Bob tells Mrs. Wiggs that Jimmy needs a hospital, and he knows a free one. Miss Hazy wishes for a husband. Bob has an ambulance take Jimmy.

Billy uses the horse to haul wood to sell. Mrs. Wiggs picks a man from a catalog for Miss Hazy. Bob gives Billy five tickets to the show and sends the wood to the hospital. Mrs. Wiggs, Billy, and her daughters Europena, Asia, and Australia dress for the show. Bob keeps them from leaving after the first act. An announcement sends Mrs. Wiggs to the hospital. She tries to cheer up Jimmy as he dies. Bob calls on Mrs. Wiggs and asks about her missing husband. Mr. Stubbins (W. C. Fields) gets caught in barbed wire and calls on Miss Hazy in response to her letter and collapses. Miss Hazy tells Mrs. Wiggs after Bob leaves. Stubbins wakes up and proposes a wedding if Miss Hazy can cook. Mrs. Wiggs praises her mince pies. Bob writes a notice for newspapers to find Mr. Wiggs. Mrs. Wiggs cooks and sends a mince pie for Miss Hazy to serve Stubbins, who eats and asks her to marry.

Bob and Lucy attend the wedding. Bagby (Charles Middleton) learns that the railroad wants the property he sold to Wiggs for which they owe $25. Miss Hazy tells Stubbins that she can't cook. Mrs. Wiggs needs $25 before noon, and Billy tries to sell Bob his horse. Mrs. Wiggs tells Bagby that she will be happier than he. Bob runs. Mr. Wiggs (Donald Meek) shows up, and Bob puts $25 in his pocket so that Mrs. Wiggs can pay Bagby. Stubbins learns how to cook from a book. Mr. Wiggs says he lost his money in Denver and spent time thinking. He thinks and falls asleep.

Though set in the 19th century, this story reflects the deep poverty of the Depression. Yet this poor family has happy attitudes, and they are blessed by thoughtful assistance from two young people.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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