Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Based on Mr. Bisbee's Princess, a story by Julian Street, So's Your Old Man was the first of two felicitous collaborations between comedian W.C. Fields and director Gregory LaCava. Fields is cast as small-town glazier Sam Bisbee, whose get-rich-quick schemes are driving his imperious wife (Marcia Harris) to distraction. Bisbee's latest invention is an unbreakable glass windshield, which he endeavors to demonstrate at a convention of automobile manufacturers. Alas, the cars are accidentally switched, and when Sam tosses a brick through the windshield, it shatters into a million pieces. On the long train ride home, the dispirited Sam contemplates suicide but is dissuaded when he rescues a beautiful young woman (Alice Joyce) from "poisoning" herself (she was just actually applying iodine to a cut finger). Unbeknownst to our hero, his traveling companion is the fabulously wealthy Princess Lescaboura, who makes a silent vow to repay Sam's kindness. Therefore, when she arrives in our hero's hometown, the princess insists upon visiting her "old friend" Sam Bisbee --whereupon the Bisbee family members, formerly social pariahs, suddenly find themselves lauded as the town's most prominent citizens. For Sam's part, he never does figure out that the princess really is a princess -- he assumes she is merely a clever con artist and willingly goes along with her "racket." So's Your Old Man was remade (and considerably improved) as You're Telling Me, one of W.C. Fields' best talkies.
inventor, princess, failure, gossip, suicide, respect, train [locomotive], aristocracy, small-town, visit