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A Successful Failure (1934)

Passed | | Comedy | 15 October 1934 (USA)
Ellery Cushing is full of catchy sayings and old-fashioned wisdom. But all that his family cares about is how much money he makes, and all that his boss at the newspaper sees is that ... See full summary »


Arthur Lubin


Michael Kane (story), Marion Orth


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Complete credited cast:
William Collier Sr. ... Ellery Cushing aka Uncle Dudley
Lucile Gleason ... Mrs. Cushing
Russell Hopton ... Phil Stardon
George P. Breakston ... Tommy Cushing
William Janney ... Robert Cushing
Gloria Shea ... Ruth Cushing
Clarence Wilson ... H.T. Flintly, News Record Editor
Jameson Thomas ... Jerry Franklin, Ruth's Beau
Richard Tucker ... J.W. Blair, Atlas Broadcasting


Ellery Cushing is full of catchy sayings and old-fashioned wisdom. But all that his family cares about is how much money he makes, and all that his boss at the newspaper sees is that Cushing is getting too old to keep up with his work. So his loyal co-worker Phil decides to see what he can do to help everyone see what his friend has to offer. Written by Snow Leopard

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Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 October 1934 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecast of this film took place in New York City Tuesday 6 June 1950 on Four Star Theatre on WPIX (Channel 11). See more »

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User Reviews

A Succesful Homespun Comedy
12 January 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

William Collier Sr. is getting on, and has troubles at work and at home. His age and poor eyesight are about to get him fired. His family certainly doesn't respect him. Daughter Gloria Shea is dating a rich man and about to fall; his elder son, William Janney, is a loafer who spouts unfiltered Communist propaganda; his wife, Lucille Gleason, is a nattering nitwit. They all think he lacks gumption and should ask for a raise. Only younger son George Breakston and fellow reporter Russell Hopton admire him. When Collier is finally fired, Hopton quits and they set out to try to get Collier's proposed column of aphorisms sold.

I've seen far too many cheap B movies from this era and judging by the others, this movie is far better than it has any right to be. I attribute this excellence to a fine, well-chosen cast and director Arthur Lubin pushing the plot points at a speed that keeps the movie humming along, yet allows the performers to work at their own speed, with some nice warm humor. Certainly he was a comedy specialist, and would direct commercially successful movies with Abbott & Costello and Francis the Talking Mule. Collier's slow-talking, folksy character might not seem his meat, but he certainly gets a fine performance out of the man.

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