Bachelor Mother (1933)

Film details

Synopsis

With screeching brakes, a big car load of young bloods, all more or less intoxicated, pulls up in front of Joe Bigelow's palatial home. Joe, and his sophisticated companion, Lola Butler, watch their unexpected visitors from a darkened room and, while Joe is greeting them, Lola walks brazenly from the bedroom rearranging her hair. The visitors pointedly remark that a marriage seems to be indicated, and after a while Joe agrees.

The whole crowd jump into their car and a mad race to Tiajuana, where the California marriage laws may be evaded, commences. Joe's car knocks over a fire hydrant, and after cheeking a policeman, he is arrested. Arthur Hall, attorney, one of the semi-intoxicated crowd of youngsters, pleads that Joe's imprisonment will mean the death of his aged mother. The judge agrees to a probationary sentence if the mother is brought to court, and Joe informs Hall that he is an orphan. Lola suggests a visit to the home for old ladies will solve the problem.

At this institution, Joe and Hall meet Mary Somerset, the pretty super- intendent, who is easily induced to believe in Joe's sincerity and introduces him to Cynthia Wilson who is to be his "mother". Joe takes Mary and Cynthia on a shopping expedition that brings joy to the old lady's heart. Then they visit his home, where Lola, sensing Joe's interest in Mary, reveals the true reason for Joe's wish to acquire a mother. Mary leaves in anger. Cynthia, believing in Joe agrees to go to court, though she does not approve of Lola, Cynthia reveals that she is not his mother, and he is imprisoned for 30 days. Arthur Hall is disbarred for his part in the deception.

When Joe returns home, a merry party is in progress, but he turns the whole crowd, including Lola, incontinently on the street. Lola goes to Arthur Hall, who is her lover, and broods over the loss of Joe's money. Joe visits the Home, but Mary coldly tells him that Cynthia will not see him so he leaves in despair.

Still fond of Joe, however, Cynthia goes to see him begging a ride to town with some bootleggers. When she leaves them one of the men gives her a pearl- handled revolver, a memento of his mother, of whom Cynthia reminds him.

In the meantime, Lola takes Hall's revolver and goes to Joe's home, where she tries to force a financial settlement out of him. Just as she is about to shoot Joe, Cynthia comes in and fires killing her. Joe calls the police and "confesses" to the murder, but his story of self-defence fails when he cannot produce the pistol fired by Lola. Cynthia jumps up in court and says that she fired the fatal shot, and Mary is compelled to testify that Cynthia's hand bore powder marks when she took her home on the night of the tragedy.

Then Hall's relations with Lola are brought to light and following his release, Joe rushes to his attorney's home and compels him to confess that he had removed the pistol from Lola's dead hand in order that his own name should be kept out of trial. This evidence exonerates Cynthia and she, Joe and Mary are reunited. Joe has found a wife, as well as a mother!

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