Spendthrift

  • 1936
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

For the first film in which he was top billed, Fonda plays a millionaire playboy who enjoys spending money on a whim. This costly habit takes an inevitable toll, and, before long, Fonda has frittered away some $23 million. This puts him in something of a quandary, but, knowing no other course of action, Fonda continues his merry habits. Brian is a gold...read more

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For the first film in which he was top billed, Fonda plays a millionaire playboy who enjoys spending money on a whim. This costly habit takes an inevitable toll, and, before long, Fonda has frittered away some $23 million. This puts him in something of a quandary, but, knowing no other

course of action, Fonda continues his merry habits. Brian is a gold digger from the South who sees Fonda as her ticket to a higher social status. She marries Fonda, but, after discovering his fortune is no more, Brian dumps him faster than Dracula dissolves in sunlight. Fonda must now face up to

reality and is forced to hit the streets in search of a job. In no time at all he's hired as a radio sports announcer for $1,000 a week--a 1936 salary that could only be found in the movies. With his new life comes a new love in the form of Patterson, a working-class daughter of an Irish

stableman. This comedy is delivered in a light, frothy package that has all the staying power of a soap bubble. It's very typical for the period, yet another Hollywood product that makes some good-natured fun of America's upper classes. Without any of the wit and style that Preston Sturges or

Ernst Lubitsch might have injected into the simplistic plot, SPENDTHRIFT was an instantly forgettable comedy that saw little popularity at the box office. Fonda's performance is amiable, but unremarkable, and in his later years he claimed he couldn't even remember making this film. Both he and

director Walsh would go on to far better things, but Brian, a minor actress known as "the sweetest girl in pictures," ruined her endearing image with this film by playing a character radically different from her usual type.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: For the first film in which he was top billed, Fonda plays a millionaire playboy who enjoys spending money on a whim. This costly habit takes an inevitable toll, and, before long, Fonda has frittered away some $23 million. This puts him in something of a q… (more)

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