Beg, Borrow or Steal (1937)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance


Beg, Borrow or Steal (1937) Poster

A con man must pass himself off as the owner of a château on the French Riviera when he is expected to host his estranged daughter's wedding.


6.7/10
148

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20 August 2012 | csteidler
7
| Character actors shine in cute comedy about various phonies
Frank Morgan, American expatriate, writes home to his estranged wife and daughter that he is a Riviera millionaire. In fact, he's a sort of wily tourist guide who is not above assisting certain associates in shady art deals that help him pay the rent.

So imagine Morgan's surprise and chagrin when his engaged daughter's prospective in-laws accept his invitation to hold the wedding at his château! Always the con man, he quickly borrows a château from a wealthy friend, figuring the wedding party will surely come and go home before anyone catches on. –Yes, it's a classic case of What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The first third of this picture is amusing but a bit slow—it's a long setup, and we get the feeling that we have a pretty good idea exactly where the story is going. It gets livelier, however, and less predictable too—the plot does contain surprises, and it all develops into a very sweet movie featuring not only Morgan but a wild range of supporting characters, all of them nutty and all delightfully acted.

John Beal and Florence Rice are charming and beautiful as the romantic leads. Beal is the actual château owner posing as the caretaker as a favor to his friend Morgan; Rice is the American daughter who may be marrying the wrong man. Herman Bing, Reginald Denny and Vladimir Sokoloff are among the large and varied cast of Morgan's buddies posing as nobility. E.E. Clive steals scenes as a genuine nobleman presumed to be another impostor.

A plot that squeezes in some surprises, plenty of amusing dialog, and lots and lots of great character actors….After this picture picks up steam toward the midpoint, it's both cute and funny.

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