Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Film historian William K. Everson once referred to Warner Bros.' Gentleman are Born as an all-male precursor to Mary McCarthy's The Group. The story focuses on a tight-knit quartet of friends, all of whom graduate from college on the same day. Determined to "change the world" while keeping their friendship intact, the foursome is forced to weather some harsh realities during the early years of the Depression. Smudge Casey (Nick -- later Dick -- Foran) whose dream was to become an athletic coach, ends up as a tank-town boxer and petty thief. Wealthy Fred Harper (Robert Light) is wiped out financially and emotionally when his embezzler father commits suicide. Tom Martin (Ross Alexander), married early on to Trudy Talbot (Jean Muir), has to take an entry-level brokerage job to make ends meet. Only wisecracking Bob Bailey (Franchot Tone) achieves happiness, not only landing a high-paid job as a journalist, but also winning the film's heroine, Harper's socialite sister Joan (Margaret Lindsay).
college, family, man, slice-of-life, struggle