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Gentlemen Are Born (1934 film)

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Gentlemen Are Born
Directed byAlfred E. Green
Written byEdward Chodorov
Robert Lee Johnson
Eugene Solow
StarringFranchot Tone
CinematographyJames Van Trees
Edited byHerbert I. Leeds
Distributed byWarner Brothers
Release date
  • November 17, 1934 (1934-11-17)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States

Gentlemen Are Born is a 1934 American drama film directed by Alfred E. Green and starring Franchot Tone.[1] The film's pre-release title was Just Out of College. A news item in Daily Variety notes that Warner Bros. was sued for $250,000 by Ronald Wagoner and James F. Wickizer who contended that the film was based on their story "Yesterday's Heroes."


Four friends, Bob Bailey (Tone), Tom Martin (Ross Alexander), Smudge Casey (Dick Foran) and Fred Harper (Robert Light), are certain that upon their graduation from college, they will conquer the world. They face disappointment when they look for jobs, however. Because of the Depression, jobs are scarce and each one has many applicants.

Fred goes to work for his father, Mr. Harper (Henry O'Neill), a prominent stockbroker. Eventually Bob, who intends to become a journalist, manages to sell occasional articles to the newspaper, and Tom also finds work. Smudge, a star athlete, unsuccessfully looks for work as a coach. Tom is in love with Trudy Talbot (Jean Muir), who moves to New York to be near him. She shares a room with Susan Merrill (Ann Dvorak), a librarian. Tom invites Bob to double date with him and Trudy, hoping that he will become interested in Susan, but Bob is in love with Fred's sister Joan Harper (Margaret Lindsay), even though they are of different social classes. When Bob attends a boxing match on assignment from the paper, he sees Smudge fighting for a few dollars.

Realizing that Smudge is broke, Susan and Bob invite him for Sunday breakfast. Soon Susan and Smudge fall in love. Shortly after, Tom and Trudy marry, as do Susan and Smudge. Joan and Bob date despite her mother's wishes that she only go out with men of her class. Smudge is fired from his job as a truck driver because there is not enough work and Susan loses her job because she is married. Meanwhile, Tom and Trudy have a baby. Mr. Harper is implicated in a trust failure and kills himself, leaving his family in reduced circumstances. To ensure the financial security of her family, Joan decides to sacrifice her own happiness and set her love for Bob aside to instead accept a proposal from wealthy Stephen Hornblow (Charles Starrett).

Completely desperate, Smudge impulsively robs a pawnshop of ten dollars in order to buy food and he is shot running away. Smudge dies, but Bob at least manages to keep his identity out of the papers; Susan returns to her parents. When Joan meets Bob at Tom and Trudy's, where they have gone to visit the new baby, she tells him that she has changed her mind about Stephen's proposal since she knows he won't make her happy. Rather than worry about her family, she will follow her heart and marry Bob.



  1. ^ Sennwald, Andre (2011). "New York Times: Gentlemen Are Born". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
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Gentlemen Are Born (1934 film)
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