Clancy in Wall Street (1930) Cinema History

Director: Ted Wilde

Writers: Ralph W. Bell, William Francis Dugan, Jack Wagner

Stars: Charles Murray, Aggie Herring, Lucien Littlefield

RATING: 2.5 Stars

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A plumber accidentally purchases stocks in the stock market which quickly rise in value, leading the plumber to crash high society. – From IMDB

A good, old fashioned comedy, featuring two of the more famous Vaudeville acts from the time. Murray and Littlefield have played these comedy characters for years, and in this feature film setting, it continues to be fairly charming. And in a breath of fresh air for the time, the jokes between and about ethnic minorities, in this case Scottish and Irish, were fairly good natured, none of the mean spirited stuff you see around this time.

It’s understandable why at the time this film didn’t get much popularity. Made right at the beginning of 1930, immediately after the Wall Street crash, it was made on the cusp of the great depression, in a few months, I don’t imagine jokes about Wall Street would be something people would want to laugh about. With hindsight, a lot of the humour is entertaining enough, but poorly timed at the time of it’s release.

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Clancy is a really lovable main character, but makes some questionable decisions in the film, breaking up the partnership he has with Mack, and subsequently upsetting the budding relationship between his daughter and Mack’s Son. His decisions clearly don’t just effect him. But the ultimate consequence of course is when he looses everything in the crash and goes to the man who sold him the stocks to find out he was only a number to him, he has way bigger problems than Clancy. It’s hard to see, but is probably historically accurate regarding what happened to a lot of people back then.

The soundtrack is pretty sketchy at this point. With a constant hiss in the background that at times gets so loud it’s hard to hear the dialogue, the picture quality isn’t great either, but at nearly 100n years old, you cant expect miracles.

This is a public domain movie, it can be found easily on sites like Youtube.

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