Monday, May 14, 2012

You Can't Buy Everything (1934).

You Can't Buy Everything (1934). Directed by Charles F. Riesner. Cast: May Robson, Jean Parker and Lewis Stone.

The story begins when Hannah Bell, a wealthy widow, emits her young son Donny, who has broken his leg, into the charity hospital, because she does not want to spend her money.

Later that day, Hannah reads in the newspaper that John Burton, will be the new vice-president of the Knickerbocker Bank and rushes to withdraw all of her money.

Hannah, is then is visited by longtime friend Kate Farley, who convinces her to make a donation to the children's clinic. They begin to talk about Hannah's past romance with John Burton and her unhappy marriage to a gold digger.

After Donny graduates from Princeton University, tells him that he must give up his dream of becoming a writer and take a job at the bank.

Two years later, Kate goes to see Dr. Lorimer, to talk about Hannah's over bearing hold over Donny. Kate arranges with Dr. Lorimer to bring Hannah and the now widowed Burton together. Although, Kate and Dr. Lorimer's scheme backfires when Donny meets Elizabeth, Burton's daughter, it is love at first sight.

In spite of his mother, Donny proposes marriage to Elizabeth . When Hannah learns of Donny's engagement, she threatens to cut off Donny's money. Hannah, watches as, Donny and Elizabeth marry and leave for their honeymoon.

By the time they return from their honeymoon, Wall Street is in the middle of a financial crisis and Burton offers five million dollars of his own railroad stock as collateral against a loan. To his surprise, Hannah agrees to lend him the money but, after his bank is secure, she demands immediate repayment. When Donny hears of Hannah's demands, he calls his mother as a cruel and heartless.

 After Hannah confesses that she married Donny's father only to spite Burton, who had left her without explanation at the altar. Donny tells her that Burton left her because her father had tried to force him to sign a pre-nuptial agreement that said that he could not touch any of the Bell money.

Broken hearted, by Donny's rejection and finding out the truth about her father, Hannah comes down with pneumonia. Before leaving for a journalism job in San Francisco, Donny, learns of Hannah's condition and with Elizabeth, rushes to her bedside. Hannah, admits that she was jealous and apologizes. Will Hanna be reunited with her son and end her grudge against Burton and return all of his railroad stock?

Fun Facts:

May Robson's character is based on Hetty Green, known as "The Witch of Wall Street," because of her financial acuity and frugality.

First film of Robert Paige.

This is a story about a woman going head-to-head in the man's world of Wall Street. May Robson, makes a wonderful villainess. You will need the Kleenex box for this one..

Jean Parker (August 11, 1915 – November 30, 2005). Was discovered by Ida Koverman, secretary to MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, after she saw a poster featuring Parker portraying Father Time.

She had a successful career playing important roles as in the original, Little Women, Lady for a Day and Gabriel Over the White House, Sequoia, Limehouse Blues, The Ghost Goes West, and the Empress. In 1939, she starred in RKO's The Flying Deuces.

Parker stayed active in film throughout the 1940s, performing in, Dead Man's Eyes. Parker managed her own airport and flying service with then-husband Doug Dawson in Palm Springs, California until shortly after the start of World War II. During the war, she toured many of the veteran hospitals throughout the U.S. and performed on radio. In the 1950s, she stared in, Black Tuesday, The Gunfighter and Lawless Street (1955). Her last film performance was in, Apache Uprising (1966).


  1. Dawn, I've never seen this. I have to say that I thought I'd never read these words: "May Robson, makes a wonderful villainess." Really? In every film I've ever seen her in she was always so nice.

  2. Kim, This maybe the first time she played a villain. But.. I have to say she was very good at it.


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