Accidents Will Happen (Warner Bros.) (1938)

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(Current ) LIMIT AUTHORITY ON HIS OWN SET “A movie director’s authority on his own set should be limited!” That statement takes on surprise value because it comes from a director, William Clemens. The more time a director spends being an executive, the less time he has to concentrate on the province that should be his — creative, artistic effort in film making — Clemens maintains. A mere youngster as directors go, he speaks with the authority of considerable stage directing and screen writing experience, and his current picture at Warner Bros., “Accidents Will Happen,” starring Ronald Reagan, is one of many he kas filmed. This melodrama is now at the Strand Theatre. “The situation has improved greatly within the past four or five years,” Clemens declares. “In the screen’s older days a director was like the captain of a ship at sea, despotic in power and often greedy to exercise that right. Now capable assistant directors, supervisors, unit managers and others take over problems of business, management detail, the mass handling of extras, and a hundred other things which once harrassed directors. “This has made effective the work of the creative type of director.’ Cast of Characters Eric Gregg...Ronald Reagan Patricia Carmody Gloria Blondell Jim. Faber Dick Purcell Nona Gregg....Sheila Bromley Blair Thurston Addison Richards Hugh O’Connell Janet Shaw Mary Tarlton Burley Thorne Elliot Sullivan Spec O’Donnell Kenneth Harlan Don Barclay Earl Dwire Max Hoffman, Jr. John Butler New Advisor A new type of technical advisor was used in the filming of Warner Bros.’ ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ the melodrama now showing at the Strand Theatre. Victor C. Rose, well-known young Los Angeles attorney who specializes in negligence cases, followed the picture and drew an excellent retainer therefor, making sure that actors Ronald Reagan, Gloria Blondell, Dick Purcell and others used the proper insurance company termin ology. In Same Hit Gloria Blondell, now on contract at Warner Bros. and playing in her first movie, ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ made a hit on the stage in ‘‘Three Men on a Horse’’ and her sister, Joan Blondell duplicated the stunt in the same vehicle on the sereen. The lucky comedy boosted both sisters a step up fame’s ladder. Has Dual Personality Sheila Bromley has a dual name and a dual personality. As Sheila Bromley she is playing a catty, double-crossing wife in ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ now showing at the Strand. But as Sheila Manners, she appears as the smiling heroine in Western flickers. PUBLICITY (Review ) DIRECTOR WOULD ‘“‘Accidents Will Happen’’ Powerful Expose of Fake-Accident Rackets STORY SYNOPSIS: (not for publication) Eric Gregg (Ronald Reagan) an insurance adjustor for the Majestic Casualty Company, is making quite a name for himself for his ability to recognize and expose false claims against the company. His wife, Nona, (Sheila Bromley) is dissatisfied with his small salary, however, and borrows money from Jim Faber (Dick Purcell) manager of an auto loan company who has been passing fake claims on the Majestic Company. When Nona is unable to keep up payments on her loan, Faber gets her to fall into a framed accident scheme, Eric believes Nona’s testi mony as a witness, and when the fraud comes to light, it appears as though he was in on the scheme. He’s fired. Then he and a little cigarette girl, Patricia, (Gloria Blondell ), set to work to expose Faber and his gang once and for all. They pretend to be in with them, and Patricia, presumably crippled for life, is brought into court to testify in a $25,000 case. She suddenly arises from her stretcher, takes the stand and reveals the true story of the faked accident. Eric is restored to his former position and another racket has been wiped out. Taking their cue from recent newspaper headlines, Warner Bros. have made an exciting action drama of ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ which opened yesterday at the Strand Theatre. It is based upon the ‘‘fake injuries racket,’’ a scheme which has taken many millions of dollars from insurance companies throughout the country and which has been: exposed in several sections within the past few months. A number of men and women who simulated serious injuries, and a number of crooked physicians who helped them, are now serving jail terms. Ronald Reagan, young eraduate from the air-lanes, is the leading man in “‘ Accidents Will Happen.’’ He is an insurance adjustor for one of the big companies, in the story, and is on the level. But he has a complaining, dissatisfied wife, played by Sheila Bromley, who wants more money for furs and fine clothes. She borrows a large sum from an auto loan company headed by Dick Purcell, who induces her to frame her own husband in the matter of a faked motor car accident. She gives certain false testimony concerning this, and Reagan believes her and pays off the alleged victim. As a result, he loses his job. He is consoled in his misery by a young cigar counter girl, portrayed by Gloria Blondell. Gloria is the sister of the famed Joan Blondell, and a competent young actress in this, Ronald Reagan Mat 102—15c Length — 5665 ft. her first picture. She has the same kind of piquant charm which first brought sister Joan to the top. Reagan and the girl pretend to go into the fake accident racket on their own account, and convince Purcell and his confederates that they are winning crooked suits. They are taken into the gang, and agree to pull a big accident that will net $25,000. Gloria is the purported victim. She appears in court in a wheelchair, apparently hopelessly crippled. In a strikingly dramatic scene, she steps from the chair, moves easily to the witness stand, and exposes all the routine of the fake accidents. Reagan, naturally, is restored to his position and hailed as a hero. A timely and action-packed drama, ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen’’ should play to well-satisfied audiences. An excellent cast, a wellknit story, leavened with romance and comedy, all make the show tops in entertainment. Young Ronald Reagan, in the lead role, will bear watching as one of the ranking stars of tomorrow. ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ was directed by William Clemens from a screenplay by George Bricker and Anthony Coldeway. Others in the east, besides those mentioned, inelude Addison Richards, Hugh O’Connell, Janet Shaw, Spee O’Donnell and Kenneth Harlan. Gloria Blondell Mat 103—15¢ Running Time — 62 mins. NOTHING LIKE LOVE Ronald Reagan, ex-radio announcer, now one of Warner Bros.’ up-and-coming actors, plays the lead in “Accidents Will Hap pen,” an expose of the fake-injury racket mulcting insurance companies, shown with Gloria Blon dell, as his female lead. (Current) ACTORS T00 ROUGH BOTH GET ‘SHINERS’ IN FIST IMBROGLIC A fist fight between Warner Bros.’ new star, Ronald Reagan, and actor Elliott Sullivan is part of the melodrama, ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ now showing at the Strand Theatre. Director William Clemens explained that the scrappers were to pull punches, be careful not to hurt each other, and above all, not to blacken each other’s eyes. ‘‘T’d put this fight sequence at the end of the picture, to play safe, but as the schedule stands I can’t do it,’? he explained. ‘‘You’ll just have to be careful, that’s all. Ronnie gets a black eye, supposedly, but remember that’s to be applied by the makeup man, not a fist! ’’ The boys promised faithfully. They rehearsed in good order. They emerged with a black eye each — and the makeup man spent next day keeping the ‘‘shiners’’ white-washed ! Was Telegrapher Hugh O’Connell, currently playing in ‘Accidents Will Happen,’’ at the age of 16 was a relief telegrapher. Unable to receive the fast sending of the most important message of the day in the little farming community — the weather report—he would take a look at local conditions and write his own weather report. Production Personnel Director William Clemens Screen Play by George Bricker Anthony Coldeway Story by George Bricker Photography by L. Wm. O’Connell, A.S.C. Film Editor Thomas Pratt Dialogue Director Vincent Sherman Technical Advisor Victor Rose Charles Novi Charles Lang Howard Shoup Art Director Sound by Gowns by Freckles Fading For a scene of the Warner Bros. melodrama, ‘‘ Accidents will Happen,’’ now showing at the Strand Theatre, young actor ‘‘Spec’’ O’Donnell was given some artificial freckles in the studio makeup chair. The former freckle champ of the movies still has ’em, but they’re not what they used to be. They’re fading out. His nickname will outlive them. However, it’s no inconvenience to him—they’re soon applied artificially! Reagan Buying Home Ronald Reagan, former Des Moines radio commentator who’s now a Warner Bros. film star, has decided to stay in Hollywood and like it. He is buying a California home and is going to have his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Reagan live with him. Reagan recently finished his third picture, ““ Accidents Will Happen,’’ which is now showing at the Strand Theatre. Once A Blondell Gloria Blondell, Joan’s sister, wanted to change her name before embarking on ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen.’’ But finally she was persuaded to preserve the old family label, a famous one in the theatre. Page Three