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W.S. Van Dyke
In 1848 NYC, a Frenchwoman visits exiled former French Marshal Thevenet to ask for his financial help in behalf of his French grandson but Thevenet's house staff schemes to kill him and take his fortune.
Polly Fulton is the only daughter of rich industrialist B.F. Fulton. She is about to marry the man of her dreams, attorney Robert Tasmin, when she meets the intellectual Thomas Brett. They fall in love and soon they marry. Brett has always been opposed to the lavish lifestyle of the rich, and the anger he feels, when he realizes that he has through his marriage become one of the wealthy, is turned against his wife.Written by
In 1932, the Great Depression has most Americans sewing buttons on ragged clothing. Lucky to escape financial ruin is blustery nouveau riche capitalist Charles Coburn (as Burton "B.F." Fulton). His money never stops flowing, which keeps young Park Avenue socialite daughter Barbara Stanwyck (as Pauline "Polly" Fulton) dripping in fur and jewels. Daddy's little girl ditches her attorney boyfriend when she meets apparently poverty-stricken professor Van Heflin (as Thomas "Tom" W. Brett). They have a whirlwind romance and run away to Minnesota, but Ms. Stanwyck's wealth threatens her relationship with Mr. Heflin...
This story features some interesting class concepts regarding the rich and the poor. Unfortunately, the characters are obtuse and the story artificial. Stanwyck and Heflin try and cry for director Robert Z. Leonard, but nobody gives "B.F.'s Daughter" any depth...
Perversely, the phony costume designs received an "Academy Award" nomination. We are boldly told the story begins in 1932, but Stanwyck is decked out in contemporary fashion. Heflin has a big tear in his vest and Keenan Wynn shows his lowly status with a silly, misshapen hat. There are no real "poor" on screen. Since Heflin is assistant professor of economics at Columbia University and Mr. Wynn's character has his own radio talk show, we can assume they are doing better than most. Romantic entanglements seem barely past an adolescent level. Still, the sets look nice and everything is photographed well, by Joseph Ruttenberg.
**** B.F.'s Daughter (3/24/48) Robert Z. Leonard ~ Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Charles Coburn, Keenan Wynn
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