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Red Lights Ahead (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Family | 29 November 1936 (USA)
Pa Wallace, an ardent member of the Whales, is offered a chance to invest $5,000 in a gold mine by the head of the Whales, Grand Harpoon F. Q. Whitney. Mrs Wallace is opposed but the four ... See full summary »


Roland D. Reed (as Roland Reed)


Robert Ellis (screenplay), Helen Logan (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Andy Clyde ... Grandpa Hopkins
Lucile Gleason ... Molly 'Ma' Wallace (as Lucille Gleason)
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... Pa Wallace
Ben Alexander ... George Wallace
Ann Doran ... Mary Wallace
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Willie Wallace
Paula Stone ... Edna Wallace
Jack Randall ... Nordingham (as Addison Randall)
Sam Flint ... Franklin Q. Whitney
Eleanor Stewart ... Celeste - the Maid
Herbert Clifton ... Perkins


Pa Wallace, an ardent member of the Whales, is offered a chance to invest $5,000 in a gold mine by the head of the Whales, Grand Harpoon F. Q. Whitney. Mrs Wallace is opposed but the four Wallace children, Willie, George, Edna and Mary are all for it, on the premise that if Pa makes some easy money, they can continue to loaf. Grandpa, a kindly but meddling old soul also arrives for a visit. Money begins to roll in but not as fast as the children spend it. The bubble bursts when the police arrest Whitney and his accomplice Nordingham as swindlers involved in a pyramid scheme. Stone broke and without the money to pay the mortgage Pa put on the house, the clan moves back to their small, old home. The children come through and knuckle down down to work to help the family recover. Then, Grandpa tells them that the gold mine never existed and the monthly checks had been coming from him, as he was anxious to prove that they weren't just loafers. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


RIOTOUS! The intriguing story of the reckless Wallaces...plunging rashly down the dizzy course of their mad life...never heeding danger signals!


Comedy | Family


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 November 1936 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Andy Clyde was actually four years younger than Lucile Gleason, who played his daughter. See more »


Remake of In the Money (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

Wallace Family Harpooned
14 October 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Poverty Row studio Chesterfield Productions went out of business after this film was released. And typically it was a remake of another film In The Money that was done three years earlier.

But these minor studios occasionally came up with some decent films and Red Lights Ahead was one of them. It has horrible production values, but the cast gave good performances led by Andy Clyde who made a lot of money in the junk business.

Turns out he's going to need it. He's got himself nothing but junk in the way of grandchildren. Ann Doran, Paula Stone, Ben Alexander, and Frank Coghlan are four prize packages who are four millstones around the neck of Clyde's daughter Lucille Gleason. Her husband Roger Imhof is a decent sort who works hard and his big pleasure is the Order of the Whales Lodge.

And Imhoff sees a golden opportunity in gold mine stock that the visiting Grand Harpoon of the lodge Sam Flint and his young associate future cowboy star Jack Randall are selling. Randall has been dating Stone and has been laying the ground work for Flint to come in and hook Imhoff.

The kids see a path to easy money to continue their wastrel lives and urge father to buy. It takes Clyde to straighten the whole mess out in the end.

A major studio probably could have done more with this film, but it still holds up well as good entertainment and is quite the advertisement for hard work and thrift.

And one something looks too good to be true, it probably isn't.

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