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Hands Across the Table (1935)

aka Hands Across the Table

"A Little Fortune Hunter...A Bankrupt Playboy...Both Out to Marry Money..And Laugh at Love!"

Directed By: 
Details: 80 mins · English


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Small Regi Allen
Small Theodore Drew
Small Allen Macklyn
Small Vivian Snowden
Small Laura
Small Nona


No_movie_poster Norman Krasna Screenplay
No_movie_poster Mitchell Leisen Director
No_movie_poster Viña Delmar Story
No_movie_poster Herbert Fields Screenplay
No_movie_poster Vincent Lawrence Screenplay
No_movie_poster E. Lloyd Sheldon Production


"A Little Fortune Hunter...A Bankrupt Playboy...Both Out to Marry Money..And Laugh at Love!"


Brought up in poverty, hotel manicurist Regi Allen (Lombard) wants to marry a rich husband. Her new client, wheelchair-using hotel guest Allen Macklyn (Bellamy) is immediately attracted to her and becomes her confidant. Despite his obvious wealth, Regi does not view him as a potential husband, and has no qualms about telling him about her goal in life.

Exiting his penthouse suite, she encounters a man playing hop-scotch in the hallway, and declines his invitation to join him. He makes an appointment for a manicure as Theodore Drew III (MacMurray), scion of a socially prominent family. Unaware that the Drews were bankrupted by the Great Depression, she accepts his invitation to dinner.

They have a good time, but Ted drinks too much and tells Regi that he is engaged to Vivian Snowden (Astrid Allwyn), heiress to a pineapple fortune. When Regi is unable to wake him from his drunken slumber, she lets him sleep on her sofa. He explains to her that he was supposed to sail to Bermuda last night (a trip paid for by his future father-in-law) and that he has nowhere to stay and no money. Regi reluctantly lets him live in her apartment until his boat returns from Bermuda, at which time he can return to sponging off of Vivian. Ted and Regi confess to each other that they intend to marry for money.

Ted and Regi play fun pranks on each other. In the first one, Ted frightens away Regi's date (an uncredited William Demarest) by pretending to be her abusive husband. Later, in order to convince Vivian that he is in Bermuda, Ted persuades Regi to telephone Vivian while posing as a Bermuda telephone operator. When Regi repeatedly interrupts in a nasally voice, Ted hangs up to avoid laughing in his fiancee's hearing. However, this backfires, as Vivian discovers that the call came from New York when she tries to reconnect. She hires private investigators to find out what is going on.

In the course of their stay together, Ted and Regi fall in love. On their last night before the boat returns, they admit their mutual love, but Regi ends the relationship, insisting that Ted would resent having given up his chance to be wealthy if he were to marry her. Early the next morning, Ted leaves without saying goodbye.

Vivian has a nasty confrontation with Regi at the hotel. After Regi leaves and Ted shows up, Vivian makes it clear that she knows what happened, but is still willing to go through with the marriage. Ted, however, asks to be released from their engagement. Meanwhile, Regi goes to her regular appointment in Allen's suite, but breaks down in tears. Allen had intended to propose to her, but he secretly puts away his engagement ring after she confesses she has fallen in love despite herself. When Ted finds her there, she agrees to marry him. On a bus, Regi and Ted discuss what they should do first: eat lunch, get married, or find a job for Ted. They toss a coin to decide; Ted jokingly says he will get a job if it lands on its side. Sure enough, it does when it gets wedged in a manhole cover.