American Madness

American Madness

American Madness poster
Directed by Frank Capra
Produced by Frank Capra
Harry Cohn
Written by Robert Riskin
Starring Walter Huston
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff (uncredited)
Karl Hajos (uncredited)
Cinematography Joseph Walker
Edited by Maurice Wright
Release dates
  • August 4, 1932 (1932-08-04)
Running time
75 min
Country USA
Language English

American Madness is a 1932 American Pre-Code film directed by Frank Capra and starring Walter Huston as a New York banker embroiled in scandal. The story is also Sterling Holloway's feature-film debut.[1]


In the Great Depression era, the Board of Directors of Thomas Dickson's bank want Dickson (Walter Huston) to merge with New York Trust and resign. He refuses. One night, Dickson's bank is robbed of $100,000. The suspect is Matt Brown (Pat O'Brien), an ex-convict whom Dickson hired and appointed Chief Teller. Brown, who's very loyal to Dickson, refuses to say where he was that night. He actually has two witnesses for his alibi, Mrs. Dickson (Kay Johnson) and fellow worker Cyril Cluett (Gavin Gordon), but Brown is protecting Dickson from finding out that Mrs. Dickson was with Cluett having a romantic evening. Cluett, who has a $50,000 gambling debt, is actually responsible for the robbery, but lets Brown take the rap.

Word of the robbery causes a run on the bank, but friends of the banker come to his aid, and the bank is saved.



  1. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1931-40 by The American Film Institute, c.1993

External links

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