6.1/10
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Babbitt (1934)

Middle aged George F. Babbitt is a leading citizen in the town of Zenith, the fastest growing community in America according to its town sign. George is a large part of that growth as a ... See full summary »

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

Sinclair Lewis (novel), Mary C. McCall Jr. (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aline MacMahon ... Myra Babbitt
Guy Kibbee ... George F. Babbitt
Claire Dodd ... Tanis Judique
Maxine Doyle ... Verona Babbitt
Glen Boles ... Ted Babbitt
Minor Watson ... Paul 'Paulivus' F. Reisling
Minna Gombell ... Zilla Reisling
Alan Hale ... Charlie McKelvey
Berton Churchill ... Judge Virgil 'Verge' Thompson
Russell Hicks ... Commissioner Lyle Gurnee
Nan Grey ... Eunice Littlefield (as Nan Gray)
Walter Walker Walter Walker ... Luke Ethorne
Arthur Aylesworth ... Zeke
Addison Richards ... District Attorney
Harry Tyler ... Martin Gunch
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A modern day adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' Pulitzer Prize winning Main Street refracted through the struggles of American life in the rust belt in the 21st century and populist reactions against progressive change.

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Storyline

Middle aged George F. Babbitt is a leading citizen in the town of Zenith, the fastest growing community in America according to its town sign. George is a large part of that growth as a property developer and realtor. He is lovingly married to his wife Myra, the two who have two children, Ted and Verona who are approaching adulthood. George has always had a fearless attitude, much like that of a naive child, which has led to his business success. He encounters some personal stresses when he faces what he believes is a potential home-wrecking issue, and when his oldest friend Paul and his wife Zilla deal with domestic problems. These stresses make George want to provide even more to his own family, leading to George agreeing to participate in a less than scrupulous but lucrative business dealing. George's bravura gets him into a potential scandal. This situation makes him question his general behavior, especially toward his family. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HE'S A 100% BIG SHOT! 25% WINDBAG 25% WISE GUY 25%...SUCKER 25%.......SAP (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express, ((Buffalo, NY)) 18 January 1935)

Genres:

Drama

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $10,000 in blackmail would equal over $180,000 in 2016. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film at the breakfast table, when the toast pops out of the toaster and startles the maid, the bread is white in close-up. Then in the next long shot Mrs. Babbitt takes the toast out of the toaster and it's burnt black. See more »

Quotes

George F. Babbitt: Come, Zill. What you need to do is get your feet hot and your head cool.
See more »

Connections

Version of Babbitt (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere in Your Heart
(uncredited)
Written by Guy Wood, Bert Van Cleve and Rudy Vallee
Played when George and Myra are dancing at the country club
See more »

User Reviews

 
The ups and downs of a nice idiot.
3 May 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Guy Kibbee stars as the title character, George Babbitt. He's what you might call a big fish in a small pond--a business man who is quite successful by small-town standards. But, you might also call a boob! Despite being a success, he is a bit clueless from time to time and this film is about clueless George got himself into trouble and how his patient wife (Alaine MacMahon) tries to extricate him. Exactly how all this happens you can see for yourself.

"Babbitt" is based on a Sinclair Lewis novel and it's a metaphor for the acquisitive middle class--folks whose value of money blinds them to the important values in life. However, much of the story has been changed-- particular the ending and the wise intervention of Mrs. Babbitt to extricate him from a bad business deal that apparently isn't even in the original story.

Despite being a best-selling book, Warner Brothers gives "Babbitt" a B- movie treatment. It has a lot of style and polish like a Warner film but has lower-level actors for the film. Considering the story, having Kibbee and MacMahon in the leads wasn't a bad thing--and both were excellent in this film. Overall, a light and entertaining film with some covert criticisms for modern life. Worth seeing.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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