29 December 2018 | bkoganbing
Ward Cleaver on the dark side
Money Madness combines the presence of two of 50s television staples, the
December Bride Frances Rafferty and everyone's favorite TV dad Hugh Beaumont
from Leave It To Beaver. in a small and cheaply produced noir film Money Madness. In this film Beaumont is anything but Ward Cleaver.
Beaumont plays a small time crook who has skipped with the loot from a bank
robbery totaling $200,000.00. Now what to do with it.
Hwe hits upon a scheme that involves him wooing and wedding counter girl
Frances Rafferty from a malt shop. She has a hypochondriac aunt whom she's
chained to having to take care of her played by Cecil Weston. While courting
her Beaumont acts just like Ward Cleaver courting June. But what he has in
mind is to poison the old girl and then claim that $200,000.00 was part of
money that the aunt hid in a mattress. This presuming the money isn't numbered consecutively and serial numbers recorded. As Rafferty has a shady
past of her own she wants no one to know about she has to go along.
Of course what really forces her hand is when Ward Cleaver turns vicious and
slaps her good. I imagine seeing Money Madness on TV after Beaumont's
persona from Leave It To Beaver made him TV's favorite dad must have
exponentially increased the shock value in a way the producers couldn't have
This 1948 independent noir film holds up well today and here's a chance to
see a really different Hugh Beaumont.