Keeper of the Bees
Trem Carr, William T. Lackey for Monogram
directed by Christy Cabanne
starring Neil Hamilton, Betty Furness, Emma Dunn, Edith Fellows, Hobart Bosworth, Helene Jerome Eddy, Marion Shilling, James P. Burtis, Barbara Bedford, Lafe McKee, George Cleveland, William Worthington, Henry Hall
screenplay by Adele S. Buffington, George Waggner, based on the novel by Gene Stratton-Porter, musical direction by Abe Meyer
Initially, terminally ill Jamie (Neil Hamilton) only wanted to go to
Chicago, to get really plastered one last time, but then he falls in love
with a girl he doesn't know (Betty Furness), inherits the house and bees
of a beekeeper he hardly knows (Hobart Bosworth), and gets a chance to
marry the girl he has fallen in love with - but only because he has
promised to never go look for her and to die within 6 months.
though, he doesn't die after all, and suddenly he gets called to the
maternity ward of a hospital where his wife has given birth to a child -
only the wife turns out to be someone else (Marion Shilling), and she dies
pretty quickly, too ... and suddenly, Jamie sees himself stranded with a
kid that isn't his (except for in the eyes of the law), and no idea what
has been going on ... until the woman he fell in love with and married
shows up again. Turns out she has married Jamie in her cousin's stead,
giving her cousin's name at the wedding registry, to not have the little
toddler born out of wedlock (remember, this was the 1930's, when a child
born out of wedlock was a major desaster) - and somehow, the baby's mother
is the daughter of Jamie's housekeeper (Emma Dunn). And I think this is a
Edith Fellows plays Jamie's sidekick, a young girl who
tries to pass as a boy.
Pointless tearjerker: Not only seems
the script underdeveloped - everything might come across much clearer in
the novel, but I have to admit, I haven't read it yet -, but the whole
thing's also hampered by an impersonal, unexciting, at best functional
directorial effort that bungles up many of the film's finer moments (and
there are few).
Not really worth your while.