Beggar on Horseback (1925)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Manners, Satire  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This satirical film was based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly. Neil McRae (Edward Everett Horton) is a composer who, instead of finishing his symphony, is forced to write jazz music to live. He also has a pupil, Gladys Cady (Gertrude Short), who comes from an eccentric nouveau riche family. His friend, Dr. Rice (Frederick Sullivan), suggests that he wed Gladys so he can complete his symphony. Neil is reluctant to do so, but his sweetheart, Cynthia Mason (Esther Ralston), agrees with the doctor, so he proposes to Gladys. She accepts, but McRae is distraught by his action. Rice gives him some medicine so he can sleep, and he has a fantastic nightmare in which he goes ahead and marries Gladys. Everything in the dream is warped and exaggerated, from the jazzy minister to Gladys' freakish family. McRae goes through the dream in his pajamas and is finally driven so mad by it all that he kills Gladys and her family. He is put on trial for his crime and convicted of being too highbrow. As a result he is sentenced to write jazz forever. McRae wakes up in a panic, but luckily Gladys breaks off the engagement. He happily reunites with Cynthia.



composer, music, nightmare, jazz, arson, bitterness, classical-music, ethics, investigation, courtroom, death, finances, marriage-of-convenience