Cast & Crew
Tenement dweller Molly Kelly works at a cigar stand to support her widowed mother Maggie and two young brothers. Although Maggie would like Molly to marry the streetcar conductor who often hangs around their door hoping to talk her, Molly hopes to marry a millionaire. One morning after rebuking the conductor, Molly sells a box of expensive cigars to a man and asks whether he is a millionaire. The man replies that he works for one: Mr. A. B. Charles, the restaurant king who the A.B.C. chain of restaurants. Later, as he selects one of the cigars, Charles is angered that one of his restaurants is cutting the ham too thick and relates the secret of his success: cut them thin. His son Andy, A. B. Charles, Jr., comes home drunk that morning and tries to sneak up to his room, but his father catches him and orders him to begin working at one of his restaurants. At work that day, Molly tells a jibing co-worker that she may run into her millionaire at any minute and then rushes to catch her bus, only to be knocked over by Andy. As he helps her gather her belongings, Andy's wallet falls from his pocket and gets put into her purse. After Molly castigates him, she boards the double- decker. Finding her handkerchief, Andy drives alongside the bus and throws it up to her in a magazine. She indignantly throws the magazine at his head, but when she finds the wallet and notices his name, and then passes an A.B.C. restaurant, she immediately gets off the bus and rushes to his stopped car. When she feigns hurting her leg, Andy carries her to his car. After driving her home, he invites her to go dancing that night. Molly borrows shoes from a neighbor and a dress from a tailor, and when Andy's car pulls up she purposely waits as the chauffeur honks so that her neighbors will be impressed. Andy takes Molly to a club, and before long he kisses her and proposes that they get married that night. She accepts, and the next morning, the newspapers carry headlines about the whirlwind courtship. When his father's secretary arrives at their honeymoon suite and says that his father refuses to pay his bills, Molly overhears him say that Andy's father would forgive him if he just got rid of the girl, whom he accuses of being a gold gold digger. Molly then writes a note telling Andy to forget her and leaves. The newspaper carrying a story about the new developments is read to Molly's neighbors by the conductor, and when she returns to the tenement, the neighbors lash out at her, calling her a gold digger. After she confesses to her mother that she loves Andy but left him for his own good, Andy arrives, slugs the conductor and moves in with Molly and her family. She gets him a job digging ditches, but on his first swing of the pickaxe, he hits a water main and squirts his boss, who fires him. At lunchtime, after all the workers rush to the nearby A.B.C. restaurant, Molly arrives with Andy's lunch. As the men return, complaining the thinness of the ham, Andy offers one of Molly's sandwiches and seeing them enjoy it, he gets an idea. They return another day with a wheelbarrow filled with sandwiches, which the men gladly buy at fifty cents each. Soon Molly's Box Lunch Company is threatening sales at the A.B.C. restaurants. When Charles's secretary suggests that he buy out the company before they ruin him, he visits the factory where he sees his son, who says he is the bookkeeper. With Andy's connivance, Molly drives up Charles' offer to $100,000 for the factory on the condition that Andy be made general manager. After he signs the check, Charles, impressed with both Molly and his son, says that if Andy had only married a girl like her, he'd give another hundred thousand. When they both offer him pens, he is surprised, but amused, and gladly signs a second check. Having noticed Molly's motto, "The sandwich with a secret," Charles asks what it is, to which replies, "Cut the ham thick" before embracing Andy.
This was Frank Capra's first film for Columbia Pictures and his first collaboration with Joseph Walker, with whom he worked on most Columbia films he directed. According to his autobiography, Capra demanded control over the film's writing, directing and editing and got it, then, after the film's completion, Columbia president Harry Cohn offered him a deal to two make additional films. According to Walker's autobiography, the film's gaffer was George Hager.