Unexpected Father
Universal Pictures 

Directed by Charles Lamont
Written by Leonard Spigelgass & Charles Grayson
A Ken Goldsmith Production


Released July 19, 1939

   Baby Sandy, orphaned, becomes the responsibility of theatre usher Dennis O'Keefe.  Aided by pal Mischa Auer and gal friend chorine Shirley Ross, trio are sketched as novices in task of baby raising.  Taken to the theatre during performances, moppet wanders onto the stage during a number; splits O'Keefe and  Miss Ross; and is responsible for some eventful but rather trite dramatics backstage.  From there on, yarn moves to eventual conclusion for marriage of the romantic pair so the baby can be adopted legally.
     
     Dance specialty by Ygor and Tanya is a good production number for the stage show, while a puppet show by O'Keefe and Auer is unusual fare.  The film is notable for being the 1st film appearance of Anne Gwynne.



Anne Gwynne leaning petulantly against the wall


 

Cast:

Baby Sandy (Sandy Lee)

Shirley Ross

Dennis O'Keefe

Mischa Auer

Anne Gwynne ... Kitty

Joy Hodges

Anne Nagel

Production:

Leonard Spigelgass & Charles Grayson- Writers

Charles Lamont- Director

Ken Goldsmith- Producer

George Robinson- Cinematographer

Ted Kent- Editor

Full Storyline

Jimmy Hanley, an usher and part time entertainer, feels responsible when his former dance partner and her husband die tragically in an auto accident, leaving their youngster Sandy all alone. Consequently, when the baby's uncle, Ed Stone, balks at assuming responsibility for the child, Jimmy, his sweetheart, chorine Diana Donovan, and his roommate Boris Bebenko decide to care for Sandy even though they know nothing about child rearing. Sandy's presence produces arguments between Jimmy and Diana, who believes that Jimmy is too irresponsible. All three are employed at the theater, and so one night, when they all have to be at work, Jimmy hides Sandy on a chair, which turns out to be a throne in one of the musical comedy numbers.

When the curtains rise and reveal Sandy, the audience goes wild, thus infuriating theater manager Allen Rand, who fires Jimmy. Reading of Sandy's newfound popularity, Ed Stone senses that money is to be made, and so petitions for custody of the child. The case is brought to court where the judge rules against the Stones and commits Sandy to an orphanage. To save Sandy from the orphanage, the practical Diana accepts Rand's marriage proposal and the pair drive to Connecticut to be wed. Meanwhile, Jimmy is called to the orphanage, where a despondent Sandy refuses to eat, and when the child makes a miraculous recovery at Jimmy's appearance, the officials decide to let him adopt Sandy. Learning of Jimmy's good news, Diana's friend Peg convinces Jimmy that Diana is marrying Rand only to adopt Sandy, and Jimmy races to Connecticut, stops the wedding and decides to marry Diana himself.

 

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