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In Love with Life 1934
Description: Professor John Sylvestus Applegate has been dismissed from his college teaching position for objecting too loudly to the predominant part that football and another sports enjoy in the curriculum, and later finds himself dead broke when publishers present no interest in the dry material he brings to them. He meets a young boy, Laury and his mother, Sharon in the park and is quite taken with them. He gets a job-prospect letter, as a personal tutor, and applies at once. His employer is Mr. Morley, a surly, sour, mean-tempered old boy who informs John he is to act as a tutor for his grandson, who turns out to be Laury. Sharon, Morleys daughter had eloped vs her father's wishes and was abandoned by her husband after Laury's birth.
Released: 12 May 1934 Director: Frank R. Strayer Writers: Robert Ellis (screenplay), Robert Ellis (dialogue) Actors: Lila Lee, Dickie Moore, Onslow Stevens, Claude Gillingwater Genres: Drama, Sport
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In Love with Life Reviews:

Other Dickie Moore oddity here. Along with Tomorrow's Youth, Moore sure had the weepy-kid-caught-in-the-middle-of-an-adult-situation store covered, didn't he? Here, he plays a child who is handed off to his rich Grandfather when his Mom realizes that the life he would have there would be more stable, and plus, since she took off quite a while ago with a boy Grandpa didn't approve of, he is fast to kick her out of the house and leave the grandson with him So this is a very Stella Dallas situation. But luckily, the old man's assistant, played rather stiffly by Onslow Stevens, takes a shining to the woman, and agrees to give her news about the boy, while she's trying to eke out of a living. Now, the storyline is cute treacley, with a LOT of sap for you to weep over, and a fun tiny twist ending reflecting the Stock Store Ruin of 1929, AND the treatment of seniors during this era (compare it to now, it's interesting). But I think what this movie will be truly known for is the AWESOME, how shall I tell it, a part amusement area, part concert hall, filled with hideous looking robotic moving clowns AND a floor present that will just leave you drop-jawed with it's Betty Boop imitator, played, yes, by a child who looks no more than 5 years old, and then a dance routine with, AGAIN, a bunch of 5 year olds. Knowing the coordination lvls of these children of course, this makes the dance all the more amusing. The audience is filled with kids, some of which look bored out of their minds. (love the 4 year old cigarette girl)This is worth the viewing alone.


This ultra-low budget quickie is now quite nice – although it's clear that a nice chunk of the action was missing from the ver I saw (which ran about 50 minutes, while IMDb gives a running time of over an hour). The storyline is typical Hollywood hokum, designed to pull at the heartstrings of anyone with a nurturing nature. Crusty (but wealthy) old grandpa agrees to care for his daughter's son on the condition that she never darken his doorstep again. Fortunately for her, a mild-mannered teacher hired by Grandpa to teach the man takes a shine to her. There gotta be an early stage in the movie when these two meet, as soon she admits to taking his wallet when they were sat on a bench in the park, but this wasn't in the ver I saw. This being a movie that has fallen into the public domain, I imagine there are countless versions floating around the internet and on cheap DVDs.Little Dicky Moore is the tiny man who's the focus of all the maternal angst, and he's quite good. He doesn't overact like Shirley Temple or Jackie Cooper, and he isn't so pretty and lovable that you feel like you're having your emotions manipulated for cheap gain by cold-hearted film directors. Perhaps this lack of cuteness explains why he never made it as large as Temple or Cooper.What does stick in the memory about this movie is a quite frankly mind-boggling sequence set in some type of kiddie's café. The entertainment is provided by kids, one of whom is a tiny female tot, no older than four or five, dressed up to resemble Betty Boop who sings provocatively to her audience. Anyone trying to movie a stage like that would probably search themselves up on all manner of charges today, but back then it was probably just a pretty novelty with no ulterior motive on the part of the adults involved. Tiny Betty is followed by an equally young dance troupe who test to perform a Cossack dance with predictably – but wholly unintentional – hilarious results.


This ver of "In Love With Life" is the public domain version--a severely truncated one at that. the whole first portion of the movie with the professor start dismissed because of his objections to the college's misguided priorities is missing as is the meeting of the professor with the irrepressibly adorable Dickie Moore in the park. In fact, almost 15 mins of the movie was chopped out of this version--so hold this in mind when you read my review.The movie is very obviously a reworking of the storyline of "Little King Fauntleroy". Why they changed the storyline like they did, I am uncertain. But, it IS possible they did this to avoid having to pay royalties--something cute common for poverty row production companies like Chesterfield. One warning about it, however, is that while the movie is enjoyable, it is, at times, so incredibly sticky sweet that diabetics might lapse into comas when watching--so beware! The public domain ver starts with the unemployed professor seeking a job from a very grouchy old man. He disliked the old guy thoroughly (and even Will Rogers would feel the same), so although he did need the job, he says the old guy what he thinks of him! Well, although the old guy is a cantankerous jerk, he respects the professor's pluck and gives him the job. The job is to care for and educate terrible tiny 'ol Dickie Moore.So why is the old guy suddenly caring for his grandson? Well, it seems that his daughter had run off with some ne'er do well his saying her not to marry the guy. The father was right--the fresh husband was a creep. But, to punish her, he's slash her off--and actually she's penniless and in need for herself and her son (Dickie). BUT, the old guy is vindictive--he agrees to raise the man but only if she would disappear out of the boy'd if forever! So where's it all to do next? Well, see it for yourself. However, it is a great tiny tale about family and redemption that you can really play if you don't mind how heavy-handed it can be as well as that it really is a ripped-off plot.By the way, if you do watch this movie, receive a look at that bizarre zone where the professor takes Dickie. I guess it's supposed to be 1930s ver of Chuck-e-Cheese but it defies description. Seriously....it's so bizarre and the kiddie cabaret scenes are mega-creepy. I should tell more, but you just need to see it for yourself....yikes!



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