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McFadden's Flats (1935) DVD

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McFadden's Flats (1935)


Ralph Murphy


Arthur Caesar, Gus Hill (novel)


Walter C. Kelly, Andy Clyde, Richard Cromwell

Based on a barnstorming stage play by Gus Hill, McFadden's Flat seemed charmingly anachronistic in the mid-1935s. Walter C. Kelly, the "Virginia Judge" of vaudeville fame, adopts a molasses-thick Irish brogue as Dan McFadden, philosophical small-town bricklayer. McFadden spends most of his time quarrelling with his friendly enemy, Scottish barber Jock McTavish (Andy Clyde), but that doesn't stop Dan's daughter Molly (Betty Furness) and Jock's son Sandy (Richard Cromwell) from falling in love. The story goes off on several tangents, both touching (the tight-fisted Jock secretly helps Dan out of his financial woes) and dramatic (Molly grows ashamed of her parents after attending a hoity-toity finishing school). Hardly a memorable film, McFadden's Flats affords modern viewers a rare opportunity of seeing one of vaudeville's greatest monologists in action.

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